Mr. Eure | Brewster High School
Progress Reports: Canned Metacognition
March 3, 2013Posted by on
Progress reports will be printed and sent home at the end of this week. In the past, I mentioned these arbitrary moments of review in a different light; now that we are fully embracing Kohn and a “degraded” environment, I can shift my tone considerably. (Note: The language related to grade ranges has been struck through; I’ve left it in to remind us of the changes, because we really ought to focus on your learning, not any attached numbers.)
First, note the three questions you have been asked in class to answer on a regular basis. They are posted on the right side of the site; each asks you to elaborate metacognitively or reflectively on your progress. If you have been keeping up with this, you should have more than enough data to work with this week, when you will finish Friday’s work on this:
Note that this is the set for all courses in the building, not just English. There should be comments that obviously do not work for an English classroom. This isn’t the time to be clever or ironic about your progress, either; you might want to put something like #138 (DOES NOT CLEAN UP WORK STATION), but you have to fight that urge. Yes, these comments are limited, but that provides you a challenge: Find the ones that apply to you and then, through a bit of writing, make them work. Even something as clumsy as a progress report can help you understand your growth, if you take it seriously.
Your goal is to assign yourself
a grade range and a set of comments that accurately and efficaciously reflect your learning over the last month or so. We’ve done enough of this kind of discussion and writing in class for the majority of you to know exactly how to do this; those of you who need a little help should seek it immediately over email. I will review each and every one of your submissions, of course, and talk to you individually, before anything goes home.
As a checklist:
Determine which score range reflects your overall effectiveness in meeting the goals and standards of the first month of this quarter. Use all of your notes and journals to help you determine what makes the most sense. Treat 90-100 as effective, 80-89 as adequate, and 70-79 as limited. If you feel you are inadequately performing this quarter, see me before putting that down.On second though, no. Don’t do this. Let’s slough off the idea of grade ranges entirely until we are forced to do otherwise.
- Determine which comments accurately and efficaciously reflect your progress. Copy their numbers and the full comment onto a separate sheet of paper or into a new document on the computer.
- Justify these comments
including the grade rangewith specific references to your progress so far.
- Ask yourself what sorts of comments are missing. What would you like to see added? Why? Offer up specific suggestions, and then justify those suggestions briefly and specifically.
#2-#4 are obviously more important than #1; the first step allows us, however, to preview how the end of the quarter might work.
These steps (i.e., the self-assessment) are required. It will accompany whatever comments and notes are sent home this week by me and your school, and you will be required to have it signed by your parents. That is, you will bring your parents the progress report you and I settle on, have it signed, and then return it to class.
In the comments section of this post, you can offer some of your suggestions for canned comments on future report cards and progress reports. Remember to articulate your thinking in full—and try very hard to ignore the part of you that wants to be irreverent and clever. That part of you will have plenty of opportunities to come out and play; this is not one of them.