Now that students have finished their projects, the last step is to assess the projects and present them. There are many ways to assess these projects using various rubrics, checklists, and so on. I use a straight-forward check-list of sorts. This is helpful because this project is really about having certain components. Since it is the end of the year and there is a lot to get done, I have no problem giving students the opportunity to grade themselves. It makes the process a little less time-consuming. Most of the time when students grade themselves, they are very realistic with the work since it will then be reviewed by me. Since the assessment focuses on different aspects than just writing, students can grade themselves to show their thinking of their final product when hard work is taken out of the equation.
I begin the lesson by passing out the Final Book Project Rubric. I read through the rubric with the class. The rubric reviews the following categories:
After I explain the rubric to the students, I have them grade their own project based on each criteria and then give themselves an overall grade. They are usually very honest but you will get students who inflate their grades. For a project like this, as long as their is authentic work done, I'm not opposed to higher grades. This can be very daunting to do and students can try and take advantage of it. Since it is the end of the year, students are more realistic with their work and I tell them that I will review their grades to determine if the grades will stay. That helps them to be more realistic in their grading. After they grade themselves, I collect the rubrics. I will review their projects and rubrics myself later on and determine if the grades are realistic grades.
We will then move on to to presenting the projects for the duration of the class.
Students have finished completing their final book projects and now it's time to present their work. It's important to devote time to present student work and celebrate the efforts students have done for any project or writing piece. By doing so, students are able to feel a sense of accomplishment and they can also see what their peers have done. It's great to celebrate student work and projects when there is not such an emphasis on grades. It makes students enjoy the process because the emphasis is on the product and not the grade.
There are many ways to present projects. One typical way is to have students present in front of the classroom. I avoid this as the rest of the class loses interest. It's hard for middle-schoolers to keep focus on project after project for an extended period of time, so I avoid this when I can.
For today's presentations, students will leave their projects on their desks and spend the rest of time walking around the classroom viewing their peers work. I tell students to make sure that they read the paragraphs on each project and look at the art piece. Since students have a tendency to socialize, my role during this is to make sure students are moving around and looking at projects. One way to combat this socializing is to have students leave notes by the project. They can jot down what they liked about their project, what works well, or their thoughts about the overall project.
Here is a video showcasing student work as they present: Final Book Projects
Here is a student discussing her project on female heroines: Female Characters Final Book Project
This video shows a student discuss his work on sports books: Sports Books Final Project