Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Transforming Worksheets from Assessments to Learning Tools

Worksheet Correction

It is helpful to remember that worksheets are assessments unless we transform them into learning opportunities. When each item is important, and relates directly to the standard being taught, the worksheet becomes an effective tool for practice and an informal measure of student progress.

Worksheet correction gives valuable information to the instructor regarding how students are integrating and interpreting concepts. Each discussion provides specific information for instructional planning.

Simply telling the student he is wrong does not help at all. The student just feels incompetent and may think he is stupid. In these instances, his thinking world does not match the world of school. For example,
Meaning: a frequent reason for errors is the difference between meanings attached to words in the student's everyday language and the meanings used at school.
Written and Spoken Language: Another can be the difference between written and spoken language. Identifying the reason for the error.  The validation of his thinking helps him build new thinking strategies to apply in new situations.
Point of View: There may be times the student's answer can be considered correct or at least understandable when seen from another point of view. After the student has shared the thinking behind her answer, if the instructor disagrees, he can validate the thinking by saying, "Now I understand how you arrived at your answer." The instructor should then describe the point of view that led to the answer he provided as the correct answer.
At the end of work time students can trade papers or correct their own worksheets. Correct papers, through class discussion, by analyzing questions one at a time.

Read the correct answer or write the information on the board.
  1.  Ask students if anyone has a different answer.
  2.  If students express different answers, ask for the thinking behind the answer.
  3.  When appropriate, conduct a discussion on the differences of opinion.
  4.  Require specific references or thought patterns in order to keep the discussion on point.
Students often arrive at answers that make sense to them and sometimes to nobody else. It is important for the instructor to discover the reasoning behind the error in order to add alternatives to the student's thinking process.

While the Correction of Worksheet process is time intensive, it is well worth the effort. Students transform from being passive recipients of information to actively involved in the learning process. 

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