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I Almost Passed the Test: Project 180, Day 175



Came across this checklist in the Twitterverse and decided to do a quick self-assessment, looking through the lens of my 180 year.

  1. Treat students as individuals? Yes. Evidence: choice in nearly everything they did, one-on-one conferences every chance I got, focusing on individual growth.
  2. Recognize the strengths and needs of each student? Yes. Evidence: conference, conference, conference. This is the most important thing I do for learning.
  3. Provide students with VOICE and CHOICE in their learning? Yes. Evidence:  Project after project, I would give kids freedom in the form of flexible guidelines and parameters, allowing them to take greater ownership of their learning.
  4. Encourage students to make mistakes as part of the learning process? Always. Evidence: spent a lot of time establishing, supporting, and sustaining growth mindsets. The word “yet” was in the air all year long.
  5. Give opportunities to reflect on mistakes in order to improve? Certainly. Evidence: Reflection was a part of our learning all year long, both formally and informally.
  6. Let students take chances? Absolutely. Pushed them to. Evidence: every project was a chance to push the limits and grow. With grades off the table, risks were less-risky.
  7. Provide opportunities for students to make, create, invent, and tinker? Yep. Evidence: most recently their cartoons.
  8. Take time to learn with your students? As often as I could. Evidence: wrote nearly every assignment along with them. Love writing with my kids.
  9. Model empathy for your students? To a fault. Evidence: Connor came to me, shaking, letting me know that he could not muster the courage to deliver his speech. I patted him on the back and said, “Okay.” He handed me his speech, and we called it square.
  10. Inspire your students to be better people? I tried. I really tried. Evidence: Most recently our Change the World projects. I shared my own, real, try-to-be-a-better person projects with them. Project Feed Forward. Project You Matter. 
  11. Teach students to ask questions? All the time. Evidence: the What? So What? Now What? approach has been central to our work all year long. Learning begins with questions. We have to ask questions. I also try to reinforce the idea that “Why?” may be the most important question of all.
  12. Provide feedback to students? It’s all I had. Evidence: I no longer called it grading; I came to call it “feedbacking.” With grades gone, it’s all I had. Turns out, it was all I needed.
  13. Give students the chance to provide feedback to each other? Yes. Evidence: peer feedback on writing, but also process feedback opportunities in their collaborative experiences.
  14. Empower students to take control of their learning? They had no choice. Evidence: literally handed them a wooden A on the first day, telling them that they were in charge of their learning for the year. Grades were truly off the table.
  15. Provide authentic learning experiences? As best I could. Evidence: always tried to link what we were doing with the real world.
  16. Do everything you could? No. Sadly no. Evidence: too much to do for too many kids, and it turns out–despite my many Superman shirts–I am only human. Some days, I just simply did not have the strength. Do better next year.

In all, I am proud of how I did this year. But as evidenced by the last item, I have to do better. Always have to do better.

Happy last Monday, all.



3 Replies to “I Almost Passed the Test: Project 180, Day 175”

  • 16 rebuttal: That means you did the most you could do. In fact, you did something that not even I can do, fully. You realized you were human and could not do everything. There is a difference between doing everything, and doing everything you could. Considering what you said, I do think you did everything you could do.

    Remember, this doesn’t mean you can’t do more next year, though. I’d be surprised if you were static forever. 🙂

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