Student: Wait, should I clear out this?
Jodi: I numbered the lines in your tribute poems. When somebody is giving you feedback, they can name the specific line number.
Student: I like stanza one, because it has really strong figurative language.
Jessica: Because our students participate in critique protocol, they have the opportunity to really understand what quality looks like, and to define for themselves their expectations for achieving it.
Elaine: Starting as early as preschool, the culture of revision and of learning together is better is what sets up students to be very proficient in their ability to receive critical feedback and to give critical feedback.
Anne: I have a couple of your friends' work.
Sylvia: Today in class we looked at our work to see if we could fix anything.
Anne: What are our rules when we are critiquing and making our friends' work better. Yes?
Student: Don't be like, "I hate your work."
Anne: Very good. We should always be…
Jessica: The rules of critique—be kind, be specific, and be helpful—apply to all of the work we do with critique.
Anne: First we're going to look at Jessica's work.
We looked at one student's work. The task itself was to use measurement descriptions to order a number of animals, like insects and arachnids.
So she read that it was half the weight of the rose-haired tarantula.
We looked at her work and we talked about, wow, how is this really strong?
What did Jessica do?
Student: She drew pictures and she labeled them.
Jonas: You can learn more about it and you're teaching others about what you learned.
Anne: What could she do to make that even clearer?
The way that I think about a critique is it's back and forth. I'm going to give you some feedback on how you can make your work more clear, but I'm also getting really good ideas from you.
Student: She could put…
Anne: Things that are…
Student: Lighter on the top, and write the things that she needed to write up there.
Anne: It shows them that, no matter what, people should learn from their work. You can learn from other people's work, and there's always the potential to make it even better.
And what are the measurement words?
Students: Lighter and heavier.
Jessica: I think there are a number of ways that you could approach critique. One is to use a high-quality piece of work and have kids observe it and make comments about it. And then there's peer-to-peer critique.
Student: I feel like we need to add a little bit more rhyming scheme to it.
Marcus: I've been doing critiques since my first year at Two Rivers. In seventh grade, you're on a deeper level of critiquing. You're like, more specific.
Jodi: Marcus, what are we doing today?
Marcus: I can give and receive feedback to improve my peers' tribute and my group's tribute.
Jodi: Okay, so think about the guiding question of, how can this poem show and describe rather than just tell?
Having a very detailed, concrete structure really makes sure that students sit with the work and analyze it.
Wynne: So my tribute poem is on the real story of slavery. My poem's in draft three. We're getting critique right now so we can move onto draft four and eventually, I believe, draft five will be our final product.
Student: I still think throughout the poem, you should give like, more detail about like, who she was, because--
Marcus: I know that by the hard work I'll end up with a really high quality piece, because my friends are here to help me.
Student: We need to make a stronger ending.
Jessica: You're asking them to do a lot more work. You're asking them to keep thinking, and you're basically changing the idea of what it means to be done with something.
Student: It adds flow.
Elaine: Our students work very hard here at Two Rivers to ensure that their craftsmanship is really on point to best convey their ideas. And their ability to participate in critique just gets better and better.
Jodi: See, you just came up with a great suggestion.