“Excellence is not an add-on” space (page 123 Tools For Teaching by Fred Jones) I think our campus is doing an excellent job with a type of accountability that the author is talking about here. We’re not waiting till a few weeks before the TAKS test or even second semester to start taking care of academic problems. We’re also not waiting till third grade. With the PEP program, teachers are constantly evaluating students, and those with difficulties are being brought to the attention of the administration. One on one or small group to during is being made available to these children with the hope of getting them caught up to their grade level and then maintaining grade level mastery of concepts.
I agree going over papers item by item in class can be very boring, but sometimes you need to go over the work on a test for example. I know that when I did this I would pinpoint the problems that most students missed and go over those. The phrase complexities slows you down also troubles me. The author seems to be advocating lower level Bloom’s Taxonomy questions that can be easily checked by a teacher moving to the room. This is contrary to the high expectations high level questions mantra that has been the rule in the past few years. Students only exposed to low level questions are not learning and will soon be bored.
I do not think that group competition would be good on our campus. Having students grade each other’s work might be a violation of privacy laws. Also on our campus I can see this type of competition leading to bullying behavior and cheating. I think the individual rewards that our campus has been using with the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are better incentives. It can be tailored to students of different levels, and allows us to set individual goals for students. It also does not subject students to bullying.