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May 13, 2016

Showcasing Evidence of Student Learning

By Kriscia Cabral
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    The end of the year is approaching. It's time to wrap up projects, clean out work spaces, and turn in some form of evidence that your students have learned something. A great way to do this is with a student showcase.

    The Basics of a Showcase

    First, let’s start with the idea of a showcase. Showcasing student work gives them the opportunity to demonstrate, share, or present information to an audience. This audience could be peers, parents, a buddy class, etc. The exposure that students get from this process alone is worthwhile. Students not only enjoy sharing with each other, they find a greater purpose for their creation. The project becomes less about “the teacher wanted me to do it” and more about “I wanted to create something to present to others."

    The showcase can take place in your classroom, in a shared space, your school gymnasium, etc. It is best to have it in a space where students can set up and have enough space between their own project and other presentations. You'll also want to make sure the space is set up so students can speak loudly, and also provide room for visitors to roam about all the presentations.

    Before the showcase takes place, I suggest creating a format and set expectations of what students should be presenting. This is where the evidence, expectation, and student ownership of the project all come together. I use a rubric format.

    Rubric-Making

    I start this process with the idea of a rubric. To start our talk about what a rubric is, I introduce something the kids already know a lot about. My original way of doing this was to bring in a hamburger and we would examine it in terms of a grading scale. For example, what makes an ‘A’ hamburger, a ‘B’ hamburger, and so on. The delicious smell of a burger became quite tempting during those early years, but then I switched to clip art. I now just draw a picture on chart paper or create an outline digitally. 

    I ask students to describe for me the best burger they’ve ever had. What did it have on it? As they share the descriptors “lettuce," "tomato," "pickles," "cheese," and so on, I create a column titled “Consistent.”

    I use the term “Consistent” because of the way we show student-progression at my site. The “Consistent” marking would apply to the best grade available. We then take a step back and talk about what a good or "Making Progress" burger would look like. This would be your middle ground grade (B-C). This is not the best burger, but it will do.

    The final description is a burger that doesn’t look so delicious. I ask students to give me details to describe this burger. As students describe, I write this information down on our student-created hamburger rubric under the heading "Not Yet."

    We converse as a class about how wonderful it would be to get the top-notch burger and how dissatisfied we would be to get the barely there burger. We compare and contrast the three ranges that we have put in place. Again, you could extend the three to a grading format you are comfortable with. I stop the class and ask students to think about how this rubric could be used on a project we were working on. 

    We were finishing a unit on Earth and its resources. The final project was to have students create a final project to demonstrate their learning. I reminded students of what their task was for our unit and wondered with them about how we could create a “Hamburger Rubric” to grade ourselves.

    We first started with our expectations. I prompted students by asking, “What would you expect every project to have?” Students shared that every project should address the unit being covered: natural resources. So one of our grading points was “On Topic."

    We then brainstormed what a "Consistent" project would look like, What a “Making Progress” project would look like, and what a “Not Yet” project would look like. Again, if you could use other words or grading criteria that your students are comfortable with.

    We continued to grading the presentation. We started first with the criteria for “eye contact” and then worked as a class to define the different levels of progress under that criterion. Here is an example of what my homeroom students came up with.

    The finishing touches included me typing up their student-created rubric and then having copies ready for showcase day.

    Students had this rubric in hand during the process of creating their presentations. The benefit of having this was that it was created by the students, for the students. They knew what was expected of them and they knew that this was the opportunity to really show what they knew based on what they believed to be important (with some teacher requests tied in).

    The showcase was an open invitation for parents and peers to come in and see student work. I posted a note outside of our room before anyone entered asking all visitors to take a student-created rubric and grade presentations as they came through. Students also had clipboards with plain paper available for audience members to offer personal feedback with comments.

    After the showcase, I had students first grade themselves, look over their graded rubrics from peers and parents, and then read any comments given (if they used a comments paper). Their final task was to reflect upon their learning. They had to share their thoughts about the project itself, their rubric grades, and how they felt in the end.

    The three reflection pieces along with graded materials from peers and parents provided enough evidence to show if learning took place. I created a version where students could resport their experience and share about teammates if they worked with them.

    If you’re looking for a way to wrap up a unit of learning, consider creating a learning experience that is visible for students, parents, and you. Invite your students to be a part of the grading process and guide them through new ways of demonstrating their learning.

    Have you used student-created rubrics or other forms of evidence of learning in your classroom? How did it go? What did you do? I’d love to hear from you!

    Thank you for reading!

     

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

    Follow me on Twitter and Pinterest!

    The end of the year is approaching. It's time to wrap up projects, clean out work spaces, and turn in some form of evidence that your students have learned something. A great way to do this is with a student showcase.

    The Basics of a Showcase

    First, let’s start with the idea of a showcase. Showcasing student work gives them the opportunity to demonstrate, share, or present information to an audience. This audience could be peers, parents, a buddy class, etc. The exposure that students get from this process alone is worthwhile. Students not only enjoy sharing with each other, they find a greater purpose for their creation. The project becomes less about “the teacher wanted me to do it” and more about “I wanted to create something to present to others."

    The showcase can take place in your classroom, in a shared space, your school gymnasium, etc. It is best to have it in a space where students can set up and have enough space between their own project and other presentations. You'll also want to make sure the space is set up so students can speak loudly, and also provide room for visitors to roam about all the presentations.

    Before the showcase takes place, I suggest creating a format and set expectations of what students should be presenting. This is where the evidence, expectation, and student ownership of the project all come together. I use a rubric format.

    Rubric-Making

    I start this process with the idea of a rubric. To start our talk about what a rubric is, I introduce something the kids already know a lot about. My original way of doing this was to bring in a hamburger and we would examine it in terms of a grading scale. For example, what makes an ‘A’ hamburger, a ‘B’ hamburger, and so on. The delicious smell of a burger became quite tempting during those early years, but then I switched to clip art. I now just draw a picture on chart paper or create an outline digitally. 

    I ask students to describe for me the best burger they’ve ever had. What did it have on it? As they share the descriptors “lettuce," "tomato," "pickles," "cheese," and so on, I create a column titled “Consistent.”

    I use the term “Consistent” because of the way we show student-progression at my site. The “Consistent” marking would apply to the best grade available. We then take a step back and talk about what a good or "Making Progress" burger would look like. This would be your middle ground grade (B-C). This is not the best burger, but it will do.

    The final description is a burger that doesn’t look so delicious. I ask students to give me details to describe this burger. As students describe, I write this information down on our student-created hamburger rubric under the heading "Not Yet."

    We converse as a class about how wonderful it would be to get the top-notch burger and how dissatisfied we would be to get the barely there burger. We compare and contrast the three ranges that we have put in place. Again, you could extend the three to a grading format you are comfortable with. I stop the class and ask students to think about how this rubric could be used on a project we were working on. 

    We were finishing a unit on Earth and its resources. The final project was to have students create a final project to demonstrate their learning. I reminded students of what their task was for our unit and wondered with them about how we could create a “Hamburger Rubric” to grade ourselves.

    We first started with our expectations. I prompted students by asking, “What would you expect every project to have?” Students shared that every project should address the unit being covered: natural resources. So one of our grading points was “On Topic."

    We then brainstormed what a "Consistent" project would look like, What a “Making Progress” project would look like, and what a “Not Yet” project would look like. Again, if you could use other words or grading criteria that your students are comfortable with.

    We continued to grading the presentation. We started first with the criteria for “eye contact” and then worked as a class to define the different levels of progress under that criterion. Here is an example of what my homeroom students came up with.

    The finishing touches included me typing up their student-created rubric and then having copies ready for showcase day.

    Students had this rubric in hand during the process of creating their presentations. The benefit of having this was that it was created by the students, for the students. They knew what was expected of them and they knew that this was the opportunity to really show what they knew based on what they believed to be important (with some teacher requests tied in).

    The showcase was an open invitation for parents and peers to come in and see student work. I posted a note outside of our room before anyone entered asking all visitors to take a student-created rubric and grade presentations as they came through. Students also had clipboards with plain paper available for audience members to offer personal feedback with comments.

    After the showcase, I had students first grade themselves, look over their graded rubrics from peers and parents, and then read any comments given (if they used a comments paper). Their final task was to reflect upon their learning. They had to share their thoughts about the project itself, their rubric grades, and how they felt in the end.

    The three reflection pieces along with graded materials from peers and parents provided enough evidence to show if learning took place. I created a version where students could resport their experience and share about teammates if they worked with them.

    If you’re looking for a way to wrap up a unit of learning, consider creating a learning experience that is visible for students, parents, and you. Invite your students to be a part of the grading process and guide them through new ways of demonstrating their learning.

    Have you used student-created rubrics or other forms of evidence of learning in your classroom? How did it go? What did you do? I’d love to hear from you!

    Thank you for reading!

     

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

    Follow me on Twitter and Pinterest!

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