Tuesday, March 2, 2010

10 Weeks No Tests Update III

It's been a few weeks and I have been very tempted to give tests to my students to make sure they keep up with their reading. I had to fight those urges and think of alternative ways to assess their reading in class. This was not a very easy process. I tossed out adding more discussion questions because I did not want to add to that work assignment load. I thought of something kind of neat that seemed to work in class.

I had each student write down one question they had about the chapters they read from The Great Gatsby and turn them in. I used the questions in class to lead discussion. It was nice to see that many students had the same questions. It allowed me to see what some of the big issues were and address them to the entire group. Also, it was good for students to see that they were not the only ones that had the same question.

After it the class was over, I could see that the students who did not do the reading still learned from the conversation that was had, instead of being lost in the discussion. Also, they will be motivated to do the reading, some of them at least, so they can have their questions answered if they have any.

Also, I see that Wallwisher would be great with this assignment. I could have everyone go to the blank Wall and post their question anonymously. This allows students to ask any question they want and they can actually see that others had similar questions.  It's a simple use of tech to keep kids engaged during a class discussion on any topic for any class. Think about using Wallwisher for your next class discussion. I'll let you know when I try it next.