One thing I have returned to this semester is daily sheets in inquiry. Every day, the last 5 minutes of class is dedicated to students writing answers to the following questions:
- What did you do, think, or hear today that made sense to you? What specifically about it makes sense to you
- What did you do, think, or hear today that didn’t make sense to? What specifically about it didn’t make sense to you?
Because I have two learning assistants in class, a really useful debriefing has been the following: We divide the stack of papers in three, and we read through them. As we read, we share interesting things we find and discuss common patterns that arise. Then and only then do we talk about how things went today, where we think students are at, and what we should think about doing next. I feel like this is a really good practice for me and my learning assistants–attending to student thinking, using data to focus conversations about teaching and learning, and using data to talk about instructional planning.
After we are done, I go back to my office and read through all the daily sheets, making at least some comments on every individual person’s writing. This is important. Students need to know that I am reading and thinking about what they are writing. It’s not busy work. I make sure to return them first thing the next time I see them.
I’m really glad to be back to doing this. I needed more structured formative assessments, where I get feedback from individual students.