Students often find ‘peer assessments’ a gruelling task, so I’ve been trying to find ways to make it a bit easier. Today’s activity wasn’t meant to be more than just a helpful critique, but in a way it developed into a mini feedback session for the class.
Last week we learned about Roman art history, and instead of gearing up for a test, the students chose to create a collage that compared their art (& how it was used) to the present time. Their categories were: Society (some chose this topic while others felt it was too vague), Innovations, Entertainment, and Politics & Persuasion (power & war went in this category as well).
Today was the due date for students to submit their projects, and since most weren’t quite ready, it gave us the chance to help each other out before the final submission.
We chose to take a look at a few of the collages, Power Points & even one Prezi — but I asked the students to think critically about what was presented. For each student that showed their work, the class had to offer suggestions to help them find anything that might be missing, or to improve in some way.
During the Power Point & Prezi presentations, we had small discussions about content and topics covered, allowing students to give oral feedback. Collages were posted on the board for students to take a look at (a sort of ‘gallery walk’), and each student was given one little sticky note. They had to find a poster that could use a helpful suggestion, write it on the note & stick it on the poster. Easy!
It worked really well ~ students understood why we were doing the activity (everyone appreciates one last chance to improve their work), and since we were so familiar with the topics, any criteria that was missing was caught right away.
In the back of my mind, I enjoyed making connections to our school board’s Growing Success Implementation Plan as I found that the class had a clear learning goal with success criteria that were selected by students. They had directed the activity because they wanted to steer clear of any quizzes or tests, so they invested themselves with a bit more drive.
Final thought: invest in a few more sticky notes.