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## Friday, October 2, 2009

### Parent Email

PARENT EMAIL (SECOND TODAY)

Hello Again So, is the POW scoring a rubric score or how shall I interpret the score? Do the students know, XXXXXXXXXXXX doesn't.
XYXYXYXYXYXYX
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 's Father

FIRSTLY: I FIND THE EMAIL SHORT AND CURSORY, PERHAPS EVEN IMPOLITE. SECONDLY: I SPENT 20+ MINUTES EXPLAINING THE RUBRIC AGAIN TO CLASS, 3RD TIME THIS YEAR, SO THAT THEY MAY FEEL COMFORTABLE ENOUGH KNOWING WHAT TO EXPECT. THIRDLY, PERHAPS THE STUDENT IS FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THE SITUATION AT HOME AND/OR AT SCHOOL.

MY RESPONSE (sent copy to Head of School as well:

Hello XYXYXYXYXY: As I was coming home I got to thinking maybe we can meet sometime soon in person. If you would like, I am available after school on Mondays and Wednesdays or before school on most any day of the week. Yes, I have gone over the rubric several times, such as today, but I also know that any grading system can be confusing for students. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX has one test score @73, but I continually see her working well in class, paying attention and asking excellent questions, so I have every confidence that she will improve this grade, and her ability to explain her thinking, over time. The POW score of 15 is a low B. Since it was the first POW of the year, I will give her a break as well. A couple of key things I look for in the POW's are: 1. Justification of math: in this particular case, the average human weight was stated, but not justified. Does it seem reasonable? Does it include children? In fact, it was not a fact I was expecting to be researched, but rather, reasoned out. 2. What kind of math are we dealing with: in this case, it as measurement, in particular: volume 3. Reflection: what does this problem bring to mind and what can be learned from it for the future. While XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's essay was very well done, especially considering that she is new to our school, it was missing some of these points. I have posted another essay on the class blog that I thought did a very nice job hitting many points, in particular, the need to round and the average human weight. Here it is: http://inside.sfschool.org/users/gkenyon/weblog/2605f/Exemplary_7th_grade_POW_essay.html Many students seek me out with specific questions about the POW's and methodologies, so I would encourage XXXXXXXXXXXXX to do the same. Sometimes a 5 minute discussion gets them entirely on track. Did XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX talk to you about the story line I have begun to develop with the 7th graders along these POWs? Here is a brief description: http://inside.sfschool.org/users/gkenyon/weblog/65278/Willowside_Middle_School.html
As a student, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX is responsive, attentive and meaning centered. I truly believe these are winning qualities and anything I can do to help out on the communication, please tell me. yours glenn

DID I RESPOND WELL? WHAT COULD I HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?

Mary Harriet Talbut said...

You responded so well I want to hire you to respond to my college students when they don't understand. You set the bar high.

Natalie Wojinski said...

Clearly, you're very supportive of both the student and parent, but also firm in expecting the student to take responsibility for moving her learning forward. I fear you are much more generous that I would be on a Friday afternoon. Thank you for making me think.

montgorp said...

I agree with Mary.

This is a brilliant response.

I actually think it is too good. Do you have time to do this with all your parents?

You need to manage your own health.

ERKO said...

Wow, thanks for the support. I don't always hit the mark well and am trying to improve on this front. Your comments help me measure my growth. THanks