Peer Review of Email FRQ in AP (Adapting strategies to remote learning, part 2)

One of the strategies that I find helpful in working with students to improve their writing performance is peer reviewing. Using it as a step between “first draft” and “hand it in to the teacher” has been beneficial in reducing oversight errors and improving the overall product.  I want to continue using it even though we are at a distance.  My first attempt this year crashed & burned because I made it too complicated.

Thankfully, I have a group of experts who are willing to help me grow & improve: my students. When it was clear that what I had designed (pairs in Google Meets–18 of them running simultaneously) was NOT going to work, I asked for their help and we recreated the design together. And it was much better.

I shared the resulting document (which you can find here) with students via Google Classroom, making a copy for each student. Due to our current tech limitations, we abandoned the required video conference, but the feedback was still good.  There are directions in the document that are specific to our class and our logistics. You can easily edit them for your context, and I opted to leave them in to give you an idea how it worked in our class.

Do you remember? (Adapting strategies to remote learning, part 1)

This is the first in a series of posts on strategies I’m adapting in my classroom during remote digital learning.

My current school schedule is on alternating days (A day/B day) with 55 minute periods .  As a result, we always have 2 days from one class to the next, and sometimes have 3 or 4 if we have a long weekend.  That’s a lot of time for new content to fade!  When we are face to face, Puedos help to bridge the gap, but our current technology limitations don’t always allow us to use them in a way where the ends justify the cost in time.

Enter retrieval grids.  The idea is somewhat similar to Puedos, but with a bit of a longer term twist.  Whereas Puedos are built around a particular unit and its I can statements, retrieval grids are designed to draw attention to the most current lessons AND key content from previous units in order to keep it fresh.  I use Puedos as warm-ups, but see retrieval grids as being warm-ups, transition activities, and self-checks.

I plan to put students in their small groups and use a grid as a bit of a review as we wind up our first unit.  While this grid only has content from the first unit, future grids will pull in content from other units.  Here’s an example of my grid for an intermediate unit on community service & volunteering in the community:

While the activity is currently set to be a small group social task, this is also a good benchmark of our progress through the unit so far.  It would be easy to convert these into a series of brief assessments, and my hope is that students will gain confidence in seeing that they can do the tasks outlined here.