Ack! I only have twelve minutes to write this post.
1. I discovered today that my students aren’t reading the rubrics when I give them their grades back so they don’t know why they’re losing points. I don’t know why this is surprising since I know they don’t usually read the comments on their papers, but I guess I thought that the rubric would make it easier for them to somehow get what was going on.
2. My students still are not asking questions. I was in a conference with a student and told him something was missing from his paper. Today, during class (a week after the conference), he admitted he didn’t know what I was talking about during the conference. So I asked him why he didn’t ask, and he kind of just shrugged.
3. Based on the former two points, I may try something different: instead of giving students their papers back as they’re leaving class (I mostly do this so I don’t have to hear them cry about their grades–and yes I tell them this), I may have them actually look at the rubric in class and ask questions about things they don’t understand. I will tell them that this is not the place for them to dispute their grade; rather, it’s a way for them to make sure they get what’s happening in the rubric and why they may be losing points on stuff like FORMATTING. I mean, geez.
4. Another student got a B on his last paper and said, “I just followed what was on the paper [assignment sheet] and got a B.” To which I responded, “Oh, you mean you followed directions so your grade improved?”
I mean. This is what I’m dealing with here.
Anyway, I am at that part of the semester when my students’ writing has improved so grading is easier–even if they aren’t always following directions or may still be struggling with some parts of the assignments. But I see the difference and the improvement and that means something I’m doing is working.