Reflective Teaching Day 20: Curating Student Work

How do you curate student work–or help them do it themselves?

TeachThought is throwing some tough ones at me these last few days! Again, when I read this prompt, my first reaction was to read others’  blogs. Unfortunately, this early on day 20, there aren’t many others who have responded yet. I also looked up the word curate to be sure I totally understood what I was being asked here.

So, do I “organize” my “collection” of student work? Sure. Mostly to make sure I don’t lose it before it’s “graded” and handed back. I also have several e-collections of work. My students blog on Edmodo once a week, and do a very short report about some authentic interaction with the language, also on Edmodo, also once a week. I have class Educreations assignments saved in the app as well.

But what do I do with all that. Where do we get into true curating? We really don’t. But, building on my thoughts from yesterday, this is an area where I want to grow. One of my goals from yesterday applies directly here: portfolios. As soon as I figure out exactly how I want them to work and what platform I want to use, I’ll have a real answer for today’s question.

So let me think about this in the future tense. How will I help students curate their work when I start using portfolios?

I’m thinking the idea of these portfolios will simply be for the students to record and show their growth. How and when they hit various benchmarks at various proficiency levels, and examples of their work that proves that they Can Do what the Can Do statements say. In order to do that successfully and A) not get discouraged that they’re not hitting them and doing everything else right, and B) not think that, just because they attempted a Can Do statement that they actually completed it. Sometimes we don’t do things quite right on the first try, and we learn from our mistakes. My students will need to know at what point they are truly fulfilling that benchmark or Can Do. It might be a tough thing to teach them, as sometimes it’s a little confusing even for me. But that’s a different post.

Right along with teaching students how to select appropriate work to show growth, we go back to yesterday. I’ll also need to teach them how to properly reflect on that work, discuss why they think this particular piece of work is evidence that they have successfully proven that they fulfilled a Can Do statement, as well as what they can do in the future to improve in some way.

So there you have it. Two days in a row I’ve admitted that I’m not there yet. Gee I hope tomorrow’s prompt is something I’m better at.

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