Creative Assessment: Welcome to Session 3

3 09 2012

I do my RAP

when the project’s complete

Got no gold chains

but my reflection is sweet.

(inspired by Tracey)

Tweet RAP
You will notice in every RAP that there is a criterion that includes creativity.  That’s because I believe you can teach creativity and one of the ways is to design learning assignments that present some constraints that must be met and then lots of freedom to meet them.  I blogged about the power of constraints to encourage creativity in my first post for this course — “Throwing Our Weight.”

The Journey Books assignment was a nice lead-in to creativity because you had to begin with a story, and story is one of Dan Pink’s Six Elements of Creativity.  The Waves of Change Collaborative Critical Inquiry requires a creative approach, too (see rubric), so please do consider as you prepare your “mini-podcast” how you might add a creative element to your contributions.

Speaking of the Waves of Change, this is our first Collaborative Critical Inquiry and all will pretty much follow this format though most of those to follow will be blogged rather than podcast on VoiceThread — though you can always have the option to record on SoundCloud or vlog (video blog).   The Collaborative Critical Inquiry is designed to be a pedagogical pattern that serves well the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts and content area literacy.   Deep, close reading is required to collect and synthesize information.   And more, building on and moving beyond the CCSS: Critical reflection is encouraged by prompts that will often challenge you to examine your assumptions, and collaboration is the energy that drives the process.

The first round of Printz books have been read and blogged along with some incredibly thoughtful insights on literary quality.  For your second Printz book, again choose from the 2013 Printz Award List.  The Eva Perry Club meets this Friday so I may be able to add additional books soon. Remember that essentially your response is just that — the story of how the book affected you (see Shannon’s tweet).  And, again, creativity is encouraged.

Tweet on Book Response

I’ve come full circle now because RAPs include the criteria for assessing the assignment’s work and that criteria can be liberating when it comes to creativity.  Christine wisely credits an assessment process that leads students to self-assess as a way to inform the teacher beyond the student work product to the process that the student used to create it.

With a RAP, the students reflect on their work on certain assignments, and then they are able to explain what they’ve done, ask questions, and help the teacher understand what they gained from the project.  This process provides teachers with an extremely valuable insight into their students thoughts.  Through RAPs, teachers can grade students while taking their own understanding and intentions into account.

The fact that risk-taking is encouraged and documented has got to go a long way in encourage efforts at creativity and innovation.

So stick your neck out, follow your creative instincts, and enjoy the process this week as we complete our first Collaborative Critical Inquiry with a seminar in the Bookhenge.




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