Freshmen Use Journals to Self-Assess Their Own Learning

September 26, 2017

Students in Mr. Bell’s American History I class are using a digital journal to keep track of the daily objectives for class and as a way to self-assess their own understanding of the material.  When students come into class, they open up Google Classroom or Google Drive and create a new journal entry for the new objective for the day.  As a class, students create an objective in student-friendly language that helps them understand what is being asked of the objective.  Students also brainstorm any facts that they may already know.  This is done because it provides them with background knowledge about the objective.  After the end of the lesson, students go back to the journal and assess whether or not they can answer the objective using the information that was taught in class through class readings, notes, videos and simulations.  Students would brainstorm by themselves a list of the information that would be needed to answer the objective.  If students still do not understand the objective, students are asked to evaluate what parts of the objective is still confusing.  Finally, students are to create a plan on how to address the parts of the objective that they do not fully understand.  Student plans may include, but are not limited to: read the notes/readings again, ask the teacher for clarification, ask a fellow student for clarification, complete all of any missing homework, or go to after school tutoring.   The journals and self-assessment is teaching the students that they are also responsible for their own learning.