It's that time again! End of quarter one, which always lights the fire under the you-know-whats of the kids who've missed things, need a retake, and the inevitable "I have an 83%...is there anything I can do for an A?"
Answer: YES. Build a time machine, go back in time and fix what you did wrong.
No, seriously, for me it also means that my AP kids have just written their first real essay with me. In the first few weeks, we only wrote the thesis. Then the intro, including the thesis (obviously), then the intro and one body paragraph. Then a group essay. Now, their own shiny essay! Yay! A whole day of a silent classroom, except for classical Spanish guitar and fuente 3, the audio source. Until I look at the pile of essays that need to be graded.
Necesito un clon para calificarlos.
In another post, I'll explain the peer edit and how I ONLY grade good essays (stay tuned!) but one critical piece to the essay is this:
My students sign up for a conference with me. We sit down for five minutes, look at the essay and talk about what needs improvement. They can ask questions, get clarity and I can give specific and targeted feedback and recommendations for their monthly desarrollo assignment. It's fantastic. It's personal, and it's fresh for me, so I am able to speak to their essay, not my markings on the rubric after I've graded what feels like another 600 essays.
Another bonus of this practice: I only grade the essays of the students that have the conference. So, if I have 10 conferences scheduled on Monday, I only have to grade those 10. Ten feels a lot better than 70, doesn't it?
You might be thinking, "Where does she find the time?!" I give up one or two lunches and our 20 minute study hall on one day. I do the rest in class, and structure it so the kids are in centers or working independently. For example, this week, they will be working on a group project that involves investigating a comunidad educativa, creating a magazine cover of the founder and a brochure to advertise it. They will also be presenting these, so they will be busy for a good chunk of time on those days. We'll also watch a chunk of an episode of Andes Magicos, which buys me at least two conferences per class.
So, yes, it is a sacrifice, but the result is incredible. I highly recommend it!
Comments will be approved before showing up.