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Reflecting on Student Work

Teachers may not realize that examining student work with other teachers is an effective professional development opportunity which facilitates the improving of teaching practice.

  • Encourage your teachers to bring lessons that involve higher-order thinking skills.
  • Avoid work that consists primarily of answers with little explanation.
  • At times it may be useful to share several pieces of student work that show different approaches to the same assignment. Start with a practice session with a lesson that does not belong to one of the teachers in the group.
  • Bring in the initial assignment with learning objectives, including any assessment strategies such as rubrics, checklists, etc.
  • Select samples of student work that show contrast in response to the same assignment.
  • Remove all names from the samples and make copies for each teacher.
  • Prepare questions about the work such as: How can I get better quality presentations? or a question that narrows on specifics , such as: Do you see evidence that the student understands the literature?
  • Discuss with whole group strategies for improving or changing the lesson.
  • Next session, ask a teacher to be the facilitator and to share their lesson and sample work.

Submitted by:Barbara Bray