Regarding my first attempt…
Class: Grade 12 College English
September 27, 2011
As we neared the end of our first unit, I asked the students to submit a short sample of their writing and from that I wanted to gauge the depth of their answers and their writing style.
Using these answers as a sort of inspiration, I wrote what I thought would be a Level 1 answer and I then wrote a Level 4 answer. I put both of these answers on a handout along with some guiding questions, such as “What did you notice about how the author used examples in this answer?”
I then had each of the students cut out a large arrow and on that arrow, I asked them to write one thing they noticed about the difference between the Level 1 answer and the Level 4 answer.
We then taped all of these arrows on the wall.
After having attempted Bump It Up walls, I feel good that I have broken the seal, but now have tons of questions about what to do next and whether I did this attempt anywhere near correctly.
- I showed my grade 12’s a Level 1 and then a Level 4. Should I have shown them a Level 2 and Level 3?
- Is this, on some level, engaging in the mindset or philosophy behind Problem-based Learning?
- My old school teacher brain wonders “What if they don’t see the things I know they need to see?” I suppose it is letting go of the ‘right answer’, but being the professional teacher, I know that there are certain concepts they need to get / are required to get.
- One teacher I know modelled writing the Level 3 or 4 in front of the students. Is this more powerful?
- Once the students wrote on their arrows, should I have had them read them outloud for all to hear?
- Should I gather and type up those suggestions to hand out to the students?
- I watched one video where the teacher, once the arrows were on the board, had the students place initialled post-it’s on the arrow(s) that applied to them = steps or concepts that they needed to remember. How powerful is this step?
- How often would a teacher use this? The voice inside my brain is saying ‘As often as the teacher decides it is needed’ but what have other teachers discovered? Have they used it only once a semester? Or might it be powerful enough to use for all assignments? And what happens to the material from the board?