Why does it matter?
The YouthTruth Survey question “Does your teacher ask you to show your work?” gets at the power of process-over-product, and the potent learning that can come from authentic demonstrations of learning.
Eight reasons why students should make their work public from Getting Smart
After putting an open call to teachers to learn how they are creating opportunities for students to share their learning, Getting Smart compiled the top eight kinds of things they wrote in about.
Students will be more engaged
Kate Fox is the School Director, and middle and high school English teacher, at an independent mixed-age learning center in New York. She shared, “we have found that including parents and community members in our learning celebrations and assessments mean that students are more engaged, more excited to demonstrate learning, more motivated to do their best work, and are able to do so with joy and pleasure.”
A boost of confidence
Rachelle Dene Poth teaches Spanish and STEAM classes to 8-12th graders at a school in suburban Pennsylvania. She said her students not only love sharing what they are doing, but that it helps her students “become more confident and they thought the opportunities to share took their learning to a whole new level.”
The thrill of an audience
Amber Chandler teaches English Language Arts to eighth graders in Hamburg, NY. After writing “I Believe” essays, her students created a Google slideshow to present to students, families, friends, and administrators. Though many students were anxious to put together five minute presentation, in the end, her students “loved having an audience.”
Do it for the pride rush
Kelly Petross is a 6-8th grade English Language Arts teacher in Phoenix. She shared, “as a teacher, I see students are more motivated and take more pride in their work if they know it will be showcased. They work better in teams, and I see increased collaboration from all students during this time. I also think it is good for students to develop public speaking skills and be able to effectively communicate what they have created. This can be challenging, but with more practice, they become more confident and more articulate.”
Helping students to find their voice — and the responsibility that comes with it
Christine Boyer teaches fifth grade in New York City and Christopher Casal is an instructional technology specialist. For students’ Capstone projects, they share their learning through TED Talks and Ignite Presentations. Together they shared, “it is important for us to have our students share their learning in a powerful platform as it elevates the quality of their work and depth of their investment. They recognize the value of having a voice and the responsibility that comes with that.”
High-quality rewards for high-quality work
Adrienne Villarreal teaches sixth-grade math and science in Oceanside, CA. Her class created exhibition about a project where they built a seismic shake table and conducted interviews with experts. Villarreal shared, “I think it is very reflective for them to go through that, and it builds their confidence as well. It is important for them to connect their learning through sharing with others, including their families and professionals/a real-world audience, whenever possible. It shows them they have a voice, and they are capable of producing meaningful, authentic, high-quality work.”
A real audience for real work
Erik Ray also teachers fourth grade in Oceanside. His students designed a fossil museum for the school community to visit. He said, “when my students know they will be presenting to a master gardener or holding a museum exhibition for everyone in our school to visit, they rise up to that challenge with commitment. The work they do is meaningful. It is real.”
The importance of seeing hard work amount to something
Aleya Cunningham teaches first grade in Lakeside, CA. Her students’ displayed informative artwork about appreciating others. She said, “when students are held accountable for their learning, they own it. Everything they learn becomes much stickier and gives kids the agency that most classrooms do not promote. It is important for my students to see their capabilities with learning and how hard work can culminate into something great. It is also important for families and the community to see what students, regardless of their age, can create.”