Student-centered, testing

How Often?

In the time of rush, rush, rush, we often forget that the kids need time to breathe.  As we spectacularly plan our days to make sure we cover every single last bit of information, we often forget to ask whether the kids are with us or not.  So when it comes to learning goals we expect the kids to all know on our set day for checking, except they don’t, and then we wonder how we failed.

Yet kids learn at different paces, and often one child may be ready while the other is ready the following week.  How often do we take the time to spiral back and double-check whether something is secure later?  After the test?  After the project is handed in?

How often do we ask that child whether they actually know it now, or even knew it then and just couldn’t find the words?

2 thoughts on “How Often?”

  1. I'm reading this over lunch and thinking about two things from this morning. We were talking about how to know if a sentence is starting. You can tell it by the period before. One student was trying desperately to say this, and several others tried but couldn't find the words. Finally, one of the girls said "There is a period so you start a new sentence." At that point the first boy said, "I should have said that when I had the chance!" So I told him that it seemed like he wanted to say that but was just trying to find the words, that that's okay, and that it's important he knows it in his head even if he can't say it.Later I sat with one of my students who seems to take an exceptionally long time writing basic sentences. She knows how to do it but it is laborious. I asked her if there's something I can help her with and she said she just needs extra time to write.I'm keeping all of these things in mind and I think it's making a difference for the kids. They are working at their own paces and I think that empowers them and gives them confidence.

  2. I've spent all week with a goal to move slowly and with intention. I've started my mornings a half hour earlier…paying attention to my breath, steps, the rate at which I picked up objects. In the exercise, I realized that my tendency to move quickly physically was deeply reflected in how I taught. There really was no space for breath. I was definitely shouting "rápido, rápido" too much. It's hard for me to slow down because I get so excited in the classroom. But this week I learned that breath and pause are just as valuable as exuberance.

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