#LessonClose versions 1.1 & 1.2

WordPress tells me that I created this draft 3 months ago. I had every intention of updating along the journey of my Lesson Close adventure. Alas, that didn’t happen. Here’s what did happen …

I found it very difficult to decide, in the moment, which survey to send to students. So, I edited the survey to allow the students to choose what they wanted to tell me about the class – what they learned, how they learned it. I used the same survey structure as before, but this time students made a choice. I honestly thought that given a choice of what to reflect on, students would engage more. Wrong.

I asked them what happened: Too many choices, completing it electronically was too much of a hassle, there wasn’t enough time at the end of class to complete it.

Enter version 1.2: paper option, fewer choices, a few extra minutes. Still didn’t work. So I asked again: Still too many choices, still not enough time. One student said, “Even though the posting reminder came up with 5 minutes to go, our conversations about the math were so engaging that we didn’t want to stop to do a survey.” Another said, “The first question was fine, but I really didn’t want to take the time to write stuff for the second question.” This was the general sentiment.

When I reflected on this sequence of events with my colleagues at the Better Math Teaching Network, one teacher (who also has several years of teaching experience) said, “I feel like exit slips are just data for someone else who isn’t in my classroom. I know what my kids know and what they don’t know because I talk with them.” And I thought, she’s absolutely right. Here I was, trying to do something with exit polls – trying to get my students to reflect on the class, to be meta-cognitive about their learning. They were telling me through their actions and class engagement that they were learning just fine, thank you.

I have lots of formative assessment strategies, but this is the last time that I try to implement exit slips for the sake of implementing exit slips. I know what my kids know because I talk to them.

2 Comments

Filed under BMTN, teaching

2 responses to “#LessonClose versions 1.1 & 1.2

  1. Max Ray-Riek

    I love how you are using the design process to not stay wedded to an early decision that isn’t working for you and your students. At the early days of #LessonClose I remember some strong advocates for routines besides Exit Tickets.

    What would you recommend to a teacher who’s struggling to find time for those meta-cognitive conversations? Are there things you’re doing in class we could learn from?

    • Thanks for the feedback, Max. I’m not sure that I have successful strategies for those meta-cognitive conversations. I wonder if completing some kind of reflection about their learning at the end of a unit might serve the purpose of having students pause and reflect. Maybe I’ll try that next. Because what I realized that my goal wasn’t about the lesson close, it was about the meta-cognition. And that doesn’t have to happen every day.

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