Hello, it’s half way through the school year. It’s a tough time for many students and parents. There’s a lot of rushing and grade checking, everyone’s tired and frustrated and really just thinking, “Can we just go back to being on Winter Break?”
But, we can’t go backwards. Onward we trudge.
The Summit Learning Platform is being used for the first time this year and it’s a learning process for all of us. I can’t stress enough that I’m always available for parents or students that need help with the platform. We can talk over text, phone, email, or in my classroom if you’ve got the time.
After some long deliberations, the 6th grade Summit team has made some clarifying decisions. Each teacher will still make use of Summit how they’d like in their own classroom, but I’m going to make some changes. Let’s all try and be patient with each other while we move forward.
First off, Checkpoints. Checkpoints will continue to be worked on in class. Students do not need to submit the checkpoint for feedback unless they’d like to have feedback. If students want help or would like me to check an activity within the checkpoint, they can request Help instead of “Submit for Feedback”. Parents, if you’d like your child to submit their checkpoints that’s OK, too. But, checkpoints aren’t mandatory. Now, there are some checkpoints, like the Mini Socratic Seminar Prep and Reflection, which is an oral discussion which must be completed for the Final Product. But those checkpoints aren’t common. I WOULD PREFER THAT ALL STUDENTS MAKE THEIR BEST EFFORT TO COMPLETE AND SUBMIT ALL CHECKPOINTS, but it’s not mandatory.
So, checkpoints are not mandatory. Furthermore, checkpoints don’t have to be green (unless it’s like the Mini Socratic Seminar Prep mentioned above). So, when and if a student submits a checkpoint, I’ll respond in one of the following ways:
- I’ll dismiss it because nothing is there on the checkpoint, maybe it was submitted by mistake.
- I’ll give feedback and mark it “Check Feedback” – the student is not required to resubmit the checkpoint. They can use the feedback to improve on their next activity.
- I’ll respond “Stop and Revise” which means that the student has done something but it’s completely off track for the assignment. Students are strongly recommended to come speak with me or message me ASAP if they are given a red “Stop and Revise”.
These checkpoints should be completed for the best results. But, no longer will each checkpoint need to be green.
Next, the Final Products. Each Final Product has Cognitive Skills which are scored and then entered into your grade on the Summit Platform. Cog Skill scores replace themselves as students complete new Products. For example, one of the Cog Skills in the Project, Stories and Storyboards, was “Theme”. We see this Cog Skill again in the current Project, Exploring Poetry. If I scored a skill 2, in the first Project for a student and then I score it a 3 in the next Project, the 3 replaces the 2. They are not averaged. With this in mind, here’s how Final Products will be submitted and scored:
- Students will work hard to complete the Final Products by the due date, whether they’ve completed the checkpoints or not.
- Students will submit their Final Products when completed.
- I will score their Final Products for the Cognitive Skills and finalize that score even if it’s below a 2, or below grade level. The idea is that they’ll improve this score later when they work on that Cog Skill again in another Project. UNLESS…
- I will return the Final Products for revision if there is no work apparent or if a Cog Skill would be given a lower score than they’ve received before. For example, if I scored their “Theme” Cog Skill a 3 in one Project, they must earn a 3 or higher in the next Project. I would not accept a 2.
Now, what will remain the same is that if any Power Focus Area or any Project is not completed the student will have an Incomplete. But, if the student has submitted the Project and it’s been scored then it will appear GREEN on the “Year” timeline.
Hopefully, these changes will help students individualize their own learning path a little more.