So yesterday I decided to let my students decide what their discussion expectations were going to be. Normally I have a rubric that tells them my expectations and how I want the discussions to look in class, but I had a notion to try something new by having them create a list of expectations they wanted for their peers.
First, I had the students write down their own list of expectations. I wanted them to think about how they believed everyone should be treated, behave, and be graded. They generated their own list on a piece of paper. Then I had them post their lists on the whiteboards so all of us could view them at once.
After everyone wrote their ideas on the board, I had them spend some time reading each other’s expectations to find commonalities. From their lists, they were able to come up with a unified list of expectations that include the following:
- Trust in the discussion
- Take risks and share ideas
- Be prepared
- Respect other’s ideas
- Let one person speak at a time
- Be honest and compassionate
After they created that list, we had a discussion about how this should (and could) be graded. After some ideas were generated, we decided to have the students self-reflect on the discussion and how they upheld the expectations. We also discussed that they would grade themselves and explicitly explain why they feel they deserved said grade.
While I am not sure what this will look like in practice, I am excited to see how they use these expectations that they put forward. I am looking forward to continuing to build our classroom community and discourse as well.
What is something new that you have tried? Let me know in the comments section below!