Monday, 21 May 2018

I let my seventh graders correct my third graders' notebooks and here's what happened ...

So here I am, just your average exhausted teacher with endless piles of third grader notebooks to correct in front of her. My seventh graders all around, enjoying their snack break, oblivious to my sighs of resignation. Not that they are paying no attention to me - oh no! - they have their own requests for the teacher! I try to suppress any snarky comments but fail miserably: "Oh and in the meantime, I suppose you will be correcting all these notebooks?" 

And THEY, instead of rolling their eyes at me as any sane teacher would expect from any sane student, shout:

"Oh can we? For REAL?"
"Can I have my brother's notebook, please?"
"Oh Miss, can I have TWO?"

And they were not messing with me, oh no. Despite my initial scepticism, I  gave out every relatively good student's notebook to one of my seventh graders that day (I decided to keep the challenging ones for myself) and boy, did they take it seriously. They brought the notebooks back the next day and here are some of their comments:

"That was HARD. After a few pages of the same mistakes over and over again, even I wasn't sure anymore how to spell apple."

"That boy (the owner of the notebook) is amazing. There were practically no mistakes. I think I actually would have made more."

"How do you manage to understand that handwriting?"

"I decided to be a teacher one day!" (awwwwwww)

"I decided NEVER to become a teacher."

"Miss, can I have another one?"

and the inevitable: "Does this bring extra credit?" 

Of course, I had to correct all of those notebooks all over again. However, I do think that was a valuable experience for my seventh graders and I think I'll probably do it again in the future - this time on purpose.

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