Reflecting on Lessons Learned

Reflection is a valuable assessment tool, and it is often one that provides richer feedback on the learning experience than a grade alone.  This practice is a good reminder in and of itself of strategies I might want to employ in assessing my own students’ learning through this project.  Learning from the experiences of others who have designed a project for this course was helpful. Their reflections provided valuable insight for me as I tackle designing my own.

Celeste and Jeri’s project on Historical Thinking and Writing made me think about ways I could identify existing historical narratives as examples for what their end goal might be in collectively writing about how the hoard came together.  Since the project is inspired out of a BBC Radio narrative about the object, I have a good example.  I need to determine if I use that piece as an example narrative and see how students use the materials to corroborate it, or do I show them a different narrative about an entirely different subject and see if they can come up with a similar tone with their own about the hoard.

I also liked their idea about writing over and over.  While this particular project won’t have that component, I do see potential for how I could “uncover” other stories and have students write about those.  I see that the larger site has the potential to be a framework around multiple experiences of developing historical thinking skills and writing styles across the span of a year of study.  Having students go back to the same site and see different lessons might help to make the learning more visible to them in the same way they might move through chapters of a book.

However, they also warned about scope so I know I need to be mindful of not packing too much into project and keeping my own assessment load manageable.  Perhaps instead of a “grade” for each activity, students could keep a reflection journal that goes into their digital portfolio.

Finally, Greta Swain’s project, Voices of Sackville, will be helpful in being mindful about taking students through the project step by step with resources and guided practice meant to develop the historical thinking skills necessary for uncovering history.

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