Sunday, November 10, 2013

Deep Understanding of Character Assessment

As I have been preparing for conferences, I have been assessing the great paragraphs written by the students about their independent book character.  In an effort to save paper, and for easier parent understanding, here is how the assignment was assessed:
  1. The response is incomplete.  There are few details to support the thinking presented, or the story is mostly retold.  There is little to no text evidence backing up thoughts.  Some ideas may even suggest a misunderstanding of the character or the assignment.
    • What to work on:
      • Figure out difference between retelling and coming up with theories about a character
      • Create a theory about the character and search for text clues to support it
      • Include text evidence in future work, explicitly sharing how you know something
  2. The written response indicates some understanding of the chosen character.  Feelings, rather than traits, may be used to describe the character.  Opinions and interpretations are minimally supported with text evidence.  There is still a lot of retelling present rather than original thought.
    • What to work on:
      • Completely eliminate retelling portion of work.
      • Expand on the theory about the character and search for text clues to support it.
      • Trust your theories of the character and ask yourself whether they make sense.
  3. The written response indicates a good understanding of the chosen character.  The traits selected to describe the character are adequately supported with accurate, relevant details from the story.  Student has clearly given this character a great deal of thought and worked on expanding their understanding from simple theories to more complex ideas.  
    • What to work on:
      • Selecting more precise language in character description
      • Continue to push thinking by not just reporting the first few things that come to mind but focusing on being specific and courageous in theories developed.
  4. The written response is fully developed and shows a sophisticated deep understanding of the chosen character.  The traits discussed are fully supported with meaningful, relevant inferences and details from the story.  The student uses specific language to convey complex meaning and shift in perspective for the chosen character.
    • What to work on:
      • Applying this level of thinking to all work in reading
      • Pushing beyond just one book or one character and doing cross book/character comparisons


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