March break is behind us almost two whole weeks now, and late last week I gave my grade 8’s a lab. I was vague about a lot of the lab and encouraged them to think through variables they could manipulate, and to think about what hypothesis could test those variables and then devise their own materials and methods to support the testing of their hypothesis. This is the second lab we have done with this amount of vagueness. It was much smoother since they knew I was not looking for the right answer, but simply their science. Students then conducted their labs, and after some feedback/reminders about the feedback they gave each other last time we did peer feedback on a lab, they completed the feedback portion of their lab.
Today, labs are slowly rolling in and students have been instructed to attach their feedback to their good copy. Here’s an example of the feedback students are now able to give each other – and I love the rich discussions that happened in our last class when students were verbally explaining this feedback to each other. The students were discussing why they gave the scores they did, how to improve their partners work and students were able to defend their decisions in terms of methods and variables and conclusions. Students were paired up and many students asked 2-3 others for feedback, giving feedback to each person themselves. Students kept emotions out of it. There were no tears. Not one student appeared upset by the feedback but took it as an opportunity (personal challenge) to grow. It’s been a long time coming. Students now understand that this feedback is meant to help them improve. Students are being blunt, but effective in their feedback. #alltheteacherfeels