Reflection: Relevance Assessing Their Understanding of Twain - Section 1: Starter


Today is July 2, 2014.  I taught this lesson in September of 2013.  Why on earth do I care about it today?

Here's why: As teachers, reflection is one of our most valuable resources.  We have the ability to teach a lesson, think about what went well and what didn't go so well, make changes, and then do it all over again!  We get to perfect our craft over and over again.

My grandma (who taught first grade for 30 years and then went on to be a curriculum coordinator) told me that she always felt sorry for the teachers who taught the same year 30 times over when they had the chance to teach 30 different years.  Now I know what she means by that!  Not only should we continually seek to improve our methods for the kiddos, we need to do it for ourselves.  Complacency is boring.

I'm lucky to have my Better Lesson coach asking the tough questions about my lessons, and this one was especially poignant for me.  She challenged my idea of what a test should be, and it really made me think and reevaluate what I'm doing here.  Do the students need to memorize the definitions of these words?  Does that really ask them to do a task that shows mastery of a standard?

My answer is no.

I'm currently mulling two solutions around in my brain: I may allow students to use their vocabulary notes or I could allow them to access the text while they're taking the test.  I'm leaning towards the former rather than the latter.  However, this is the beauty of this cycle.  I get to try it one way, re-reflect (is that a word?), and then give it yet another shot.


  Rethinking the Whole Thing
  Relevance: Rethinking the Whole Thing
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Assessing Their Understanding of Twain

Unit 6: Introduction to Mark Twain
Lesson 5 of 5

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate comprehension of a short story by writing responses to short-answer essay questions.

Big Idea: Time to see what they've learned about Mark Twain.

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