Feedback: Castle Learning

Your scores for the two batches of Castle Learning exercises that closed on Monday, June 3, are now on Infinite Campus. Here are the exercises and dates assigned:

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Feedback: Final Essays

Your scores for this final essay are now available through Infinite Campus. Check your email first; you may have specific feedback or instructions from me. Then click below to see a copy of the rubric and the letter distributed and read to you on May 28:

Note that a small number of you may have had your tiered score on the rubric adjusted up or down by two points to reflects particular strengths or weaknesses. If you have not yet submitted an essay, you obviously have a zero. Schedule a conference to discuss the details—and note very, very carefully the requirements for that conference as outlined in the letter.

Before anything else, you should also read the following exemplary essay:

Note that it does what most of your essays do not do: It follows the guide closely; it includes research of various kinds; it balances anecdotes with empirical data; it offers value arguments and a policy argument; it even includes the elusive extended analogy, a requirement most of you just ignored. These strengths are more than enough to make up for some of the grammatical and paragraphing struggles.

This paper earns a 92, one of only a handful of papers to do so. Compare it to yours. Note the differences. When/if we conference, we’ll start with your understanding of what you didn’t do correctly; only then will we move into a discussion of how you might revise.

Adversarial Scores: EQ Discussion

We began our discussion of essential questions—the core of the essays you are in the midst of submitting—back on April 30, when we broke down the guide and began brainstorming possibilities for each of you. We did this adversarially to give you a carrot to chase. Your work was approved through individual conferences held between April 30 and May 2. Then you were given a post for discussion, both as an adversarial opportunity and as a means of focusing your writing.

Here is that discussion post. It was open for a total of 20 days. It has 27 comments.

Your scores can be viewed by loading the following document:

There were some small adjustments made to the 10-point scaling. Contributions online were worth slightly more than contributions made in class, due to the amount of time given to you to make those contributions. The gradations between tiers (e.g., 9+, 9-) were also stripped away to benefit those of you who contributed very little or nothing at all. Email me with any questions about this.

Feedback: Q3 Adversarial #2

I’m going to let the facts speak for themselves on this one. Your grade came from your contributions to two adversarial posts about our current texts:

  1. TIM Adversarial: Sympathy for the Devil
  2. James Whale’s “The Invisible Man”

The first post was created on March 19; the second, on April 2. The adversarial was extended from its original deadline of April 1 to include the second post. The new deadline was set as April 12. You had 24 total days to enter the conversation and earn points.

Twelve students did not comment at all. Eleven students only commented once; three of the eleven left comments that were factually inaccurate.

On April 12, your scores were tabulated and converted as they always are:

The total points earned by your comments is reprinted next to your final grade. The conversion chart is included. The normal distribution of scores would give those students who did not comment a 55/100; therefore, the conversion chart was recalibrated so that students who left no comments at all received a 64. The grades scale up from there.

This grade is part of your third quarter average.

Q3 Progress Reports

The first thing you need to do this week is read each and every feedback post on this website. You need them for your portfolios, and you need to start with this one on working in groups. When you’re ready, you can read the rest of this post, which deals with progress reports.

Your official progress reports will be sent home by the school early this week. You will receive a printed copy of all scores and assignments on Tuesday in class. This detailed report must be taken home, reviewed with your parents, and signed. This is due by Friday.

One of the key elements of this submission grade: share with your parents the following spreadsheet.

The score on the left side of this report is the average that will be sent home as part of your progress reports this quarter. It does not include two assignments. These “inactive” assignments are part of the required revisions for your Q3 portfolios, which are due between 3/18 and 3/22. You can read more about them here:

  1. Literary Analysis
  2. The Invisible Man: Chapters 9-11

The score on the right side of that spreadsheet is your average if those assignments are counted, not inactive. On March 18, those scores will go live; if you have revised by the end of that week, that revision will replace the current score. Make sure you and your parents understand this, because your average will drop, if you do not take advantage of the next two weeks. All you’ve been given for the moment is a chance to avoid a very low progress report grade.

Feedback: Reading Adversarial

Note: Scores and feedback are after the jump. Read these notes first.

You had 12 days to add comments to either of these posts:

  1. Your Reading Life
  2. How Teachers Make Children Hate Reading

First, you were given several days in class to read the texts and to prepare comments. Then you were given an extra day with computers just to leave comments. The unexpected result: Every single comment was made on that day, February 28.

You added zero comments to either post on your own. Not during free periods. Not during study halls. Not at home. That is a shame, because there are some very smart observations here. Think about that: You spent a grand total of 39 minutes posting, and while there are the occasional comments like this:

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Second Quarter Grades

First, a reminder: Your argument revisions are due through Google Drive on Monday, January 28. The full assignment was given in class and is archived online here. You must have a copy of this revision to do Monday’s assignment; if you arrive empty-handed, you will not be able to complete the day’s lesson.

Grades for your first drafts have been entered and can be checked through the Portal. You can use those to help focus your revisions, but you must remember that you do not need the grade to revise; you should have prepared a revision by using your notes, your study of the example papers, and the work done in class from 1/14 to 1/18. If you have any last-minute questions, email me. Otherwise, arrive on Monday ready to discuss how you revised.

Now we must discuss grades.

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