Why don’t our students create the Feltron report every year?

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A carpenters' ruler with centimetre divisions
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When I think about all of the ways in which students are measured and monitored, it strikes me that very little of the measuring is being done by the students themselves. Now, I know that others have written on this topic more than I have, but as I was reading through Dan Meyer’s second annual contest for designing of annual reports, I realized that he was doing all of the things that I wished my students would do. I wish my students would collect all of the things that they had done and learned over the course of the year and then construct a report that reflected exactly what they had accomplished. This would not merely be a reflection exercise based upon an e-portfolio, it would be a way for students to prove that they really could quantify their learning.

Rather than us having to assess their learning and turn it into numbers, let’s ask them to do it. Let’s give them the tools and time to create something as beautiful as the Feltron Report. Let’s guide them through the process of figuring out how to make learning concrete. Let’s truly have an alternative to the one sheet for CSAP results as the easiest and most clear representation of the student’s learning.

For examples of great Annual reports, I turn to Dan’s contest from last year. Arthus (who sadly no longer blogs), is a student who was able to visualize his learning:

The level of articulation it takes to construct something truly reflective of a year’s worth of learning is immense. If we start teaching this skill to our children early on, I can’t imagine what they will be able to express.

So, my questions for this are as follows:

  1. Is anyone doing this contest with students?
  2. What would you have them collect data on throughout the year if you were going to do this (and where would you track it)?
  3. What tools would be the easiest to have them express their learning?
  4. How could you help them to design their reports so that they are not simple graphs of number of blog posts, etc?
  5. What added reflection would you have them do upon completion of this activity?
  6. Where would you post them?
  7. When would you actually have them do this (end of the year, first of the year, throughout the year)?
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