Building student confidence and establishing
It is very important to make sure that kids
are moving along and not feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or totally
lost. Last year, one of my biology II students who was an exchange
student from another country quickly let me know how she was doing
by saying; "This is NOT science, in my country science is
- I ask the students to report to the whole
class on their findings thus far (mini-symposia)...often they
will suggest options to each other and help clarify in "real
student talk". The common brainstorming that occurs often
initiates new ideas for others to follow or try.
- I also will give the students short articles
to read (and we discuss them) that are germain to the investigations
they are doing. The questions and comments from students often
clue me in to who is having problems as well as how I might be
able to assist them.
- Short term assignments such as labs., fieldwork
presentations, field journal entries allow me an opportunity to
both gage and guide a student along. To me, this is what the
purpose of assessment is all about...giving students feedback
to adjust their performance as they go versus a "final grade".
This also allows for student growth and confidence in gaining
knowledge and skills whereas the "final grade" tends
to type cast a student as an A, B, C, or "F" person.