Friday, February 3, 2012

Can I have another go?

A grade 8 student asked me the following this afternoon:

"Can I have another go at the project I just handed in.  I know I can do much better and I don't think it represented how much I really know about safety.  I'd like a chance to do it again.  I will hand it in on Monday."

Yes.  Yes you can.  Thank you for asking.

I love it when students "get it."  I wish more of them understood that what I am asking for in projects is for them to demonstrate their learning.  "How much do you understand about lab safety?  Prove it to me." I just want their best.  It isn't about jumping through my hoops.  It isn't about due dates.

The assignment in question was a "What not to wear" safety poster.  They needed to draw 2 people, demonstrating 10 safe things to wear in the lab, and 10 not-so-safe things to wear in the lab.  One student asked me if she could dress up and model and take a picture instead of drawing.  Another 2 students asked if they could write what not to wear raps instead.  Moments like this make me extraordinarily happy.  There is so much talent trapped in our students, along side their ever increasing understanding of the "stuff" we are teaching.  If the way I have asked them to prove it doesn't "fit" with who they are - I encourage them to pitch me something different. Sometimes they do.  And sometimes it is AMAZING. 

It's only 5 days into the semester and my grade 8's already "get it."  I am very excited for what the next 5 months will bring.

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