The Student Narrative

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed the pattern yet, but I’ve started collecting guest blog posts from all the interesting people that I meet in #edchat each week. We’ve already heard from Mike Vigilant and Justin Baumgartner. This week, I’m continuing the trend, but in a slightly different way.

Debra Finger, The Incidental Techie, writes this week’s contribution on her own blog, and instead of simply reposting the entire thing here I will post up a little teaser and then point you towards it. Hopefully by now you trust me when I say that this post is worth the couple minutes it should take you to read it.

Teacher Debra (to use her Twitter handle), writes this week about the student narrative, i.e. “what parents want to know that grades don’t tell them.” A student’s achievement and involvement in school is a complex thing, and the occasional report card doesn’t even come close to explaining it.

What does? Well, here’s an example from her school:

I am fortunate enough to work in a school that values the whole child and as such, twice a year tries to capture that child in the form of narrative reports about each child’s strengths, weaknesses and efforts in a particular curricular area, including a social emotional picture of each child. These narratives, though extremely time-consuming (did I mention these take weeks and weeks to write?) offer the parent or guardian what letter grades alone cannot: a lens through which they can see their child as the teacher sees him. These narratives can show the parent that after 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 38 weeks a year this teacher knows that child as a person and a learner.

That was the teaser. But the post goes on from there to talk about other ways of showing parents what their child is doing: student portfolios. So please, by all means, go read it.

Next week’s guest post will come to us from another teacher (that I met in #edchat, of course) that has already been down the student portfolio path in her classroom. Look forward to it.

One Response to The Student Narrative
  1. Pingback: Get Real: Unlocking Authentic Assessment in the Classroom | TestSoup

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