Education Opinion

Making Okay Choices

By Emmet Rosenfeld — February 25, 2007 2 min read
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I’m frustrated with myself over the choice of student work for Entry 1 but because I’ve already started the write ups (and also because it’s such a hassle to collect the stuff) I’m hesitant to change now. Neither the ticking clock nor these hoop burns are helping.

I like both students fine, but in seeking to use certain assignments that I know show a lot of growth, I’ve painted myself into a corner in regards to using others. For example, I need a response to a non-print text from the ninth grader in written form, and the piece I thought I’d use, an observation writing from his field notebook, he... umm... didn’t do. Yeah, that I wasn’t aware of this before now is not a good sign. I knew it was the weakest link of the eight when I was working the bar puzzle. It just fit. Except now it doesn’t.

Also, I’m starting to realize that I selected the sophomore not because we have a strong connection but because I really liked what she did on one particular assignment, and she is such a steady and reliable kid I knew whatever I asked for she’d be able to produce. Now it turns out that the assignment of hers I especially liked I can’t use, because it doesn’t fit the bar puzzle. (Another one over here, pal. Make it a double.)

So, what to do? This weekend, due to impending interims, I think I’ll ignore the problem while I wade through a six-inch stack of papers I haven’t been grading lately. See-- National Boards is already influencing my impact on student achievement.

After the paint has dried, I’ll get back to you on this. Hopefully, some good advice from blog readers will be forthcoming in the meantime. Speaking of which, let me share or reply to a few recent comments.

Faye wrote on Feb 15 to remind us that the portfolio is due IN THE HANDS of NBPTS on March 31st, not “postmarked by” as I wrote in “Arithmetic of Reading and Writing.” A small detail that may have prevented me or others from putting bullets in our heads.

Jennifer points out that I should not “recycle” work amongst Entries 1-3. While these entries are likely to be read by different readers, so I’m not sure how enforceable that restriction is, Jennifer is right. Thanks for citing chapter and verse.

Hillary asked after reading last post, “Are you answering ALL the questions about Student A, and then ALL the questions about Student B, or for each question dealing with first one student, and then the second?” For what it’s worth, I’m using the order of forms in the bible as my guide, unless someone offers a compelling reason to do it in another way. Check out the “Entry 1 Assembly Final Inventory” for a schematic drawing complete with information including where to place the paper clips.

A last random question I posed to my support class instructor, Lisa: When including rubrics should they be the ones I actually used with students or “clean copies”? She wrote back, “It is better to send the rubrics that were actually used, with comments. That way, the assessors can see the feedback you provided and that you actually used it! If you did not use a rubric for the assignment, just clearly write up how the students were assessed and why you chose that method.”

The opinions expressed in Certifiable? are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.