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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Can YOU draw a penny without looking?

Today was day one of my Instructional Model Pilot Program training. We are using Classroom Assessment for Student Learning from the Pearson Assessment Training Institute as a guide (sorry for the Amazon link; it's not posted with detail on Barnes & Noble). 

Although I will share more as we go along with this process, I want to reflect on one activity I participated in. Ken Mattingly, our facilitator for today's journey, instructed us to draw the face of a penny without looking at one. Simple enough. I'm forty years old. I know what a penny looks like...?

I got the circle part. But then I couldn't remember which president was on the penny, nor could I remember which way he faced. I knew there were some words but drew a blank about what they were. I had to look at my friend's sketch to even remember that there is a year on all coins (my students taught me that TEACHING and CHEATING have the same letters, so my actions were completely acceptable). How did I not know what a penny looked like?

Now, I'm no artist, but it is really that bad? (cough-cough, wink-wink)

Despite my belief that this lesson was designed to humiliate the non-artistic in the room, there actually was a bigger purpose: without preparation and a clear target and purpose, learners are often left stumped and confused. (more on this in the future)

For now, I am taking away a bigger lesson. Tomorrow, I will be making fun of my students using this activity. I can't wait!

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