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I am now teaching said unit. I've learned the following:
- Fourteen-year-olds aren't big fans of note-taking.
- Even smart teenagers occasionally fail to follow directions.
- I don't particularly like grading papers.
- Why we take notes
- How we take notes
- The Technique of the Month: Concept Maps
They turned in their assignment. I graded them. As a librarian, I do just about every aspect of teaching, but I don't grade on a regular basis. This time around, I volunteered to do the grading - I'd taught the lesson and developed the rubric, so it seemed only fair that I assign the grades, too.
Grading isn't fun. Completing rubrics (see our rubric here) and leaving comments on 150 concept maps ate up a lot of my weekend (the chocolate chip cookies for Custodian's Day didn't get baked). But guess what -- I volunteered to grade the next mapping assignment, too. It's totally worth it because I can see if they "got it." Did my lesson sink in? Did I succeed as a teacher? What do I need to change?
Most importantly, grading enforces my role as a true co-teacher. Giving the grade helps my collaborators AND the students view me as a teacher, rather than "just" the librarian.
Tomorrow I'm headed back into the AP classrooms This time, I'm showcasing two FABULOUS concept mapping apps. I'm in love with both of them, and hoping that some great technology is the "spoonful of sugar" the activity needs.
Anyone have any ideas to make note-taking FUN?