Should we assess what students remember about their classmates, or should we assess whether students understand Latin?
Although the former has social benefits, let’s face it…we use student details as our understandable messages in Latin. It’s great to know that Johnny’s birthday is in April, but it’s better to be able to read and understand all of the Latin used to express that detail. Inspired by a brilliant new tweak to Ben Slavic’s Quick Quizzes, I’ll be making the following changes:
1) Either at the end of Sabrina’s presentation, or in place of it altogether, make a student Bio in paragraph form. If you’re up for it, this could even be a story based on the student’s details.
2) Project the Bio during your quiz so students can read and respond.
This is not cheating. In fact, it will lower the cognitive demand of what used to be students writing down details about each other in notebooks, or anxiously wanting to review information before these quizzes even if you already did so daily. Some students won’t even need to read the Bio at all, having remembered every detail from the interview day. There’s a good chance, however, that those confident students will read the Bio anyway just to double check. More reading is not a bad thing.
Although you could write specific questions ahead of time using the same prompts from the poster/PPT, an alternative is to just ask students to write down (in English) as many details about student from the Bio as they can. This practice would also provide good evidence to show growth. The student who only writes a few details might be struggling, or something’s up at home/school. Either way, checking in with them is a good idea.