Jami McLing, BHP Teacher
BHP Score is a thing of beauty: it provides a level of detailed feedback on student writing that would previously have taken me two to three weeks to compile. In addition to time saved, here are three other amazing benefits of BHP Score:
- Tool for Teachers: One-on-One Conversations
BHP Score gives us a tool for having great one-on-one conversations with our students about where they are in the learning-to-write process. My co-teacher and I aren’t writing teachers by training (however, we acknowledge that history teachers are, by default, writing teachers). Although we could read student essays and look for evidence and adherence to the topic question, for example, we’ve always struggled with coaching students on how to be more fluid writers. The comments provided in the Score reports, along with the numeric scores for each of the four criteria in the BHP Writing Rubric, have proven an invaluable starting point for conversations.
- Tool for Students: Goal-Setting
BHP Score gives students a concrete tool for making their writing better. When we talk with our students one on one about their Investigations, they use the information from the Score reports (both the written comments and the numeric scores for each of the grading criteria) to identify their strengths and weaknesses. They then create writing goals for future Investigations.
- Peer Editing Support
BHP Score gives students a tool for learning how to peer-edit. Our students have always struggled with giving honest feedback on classmates’ essays: they don’t ever want to hurt feelings (despite our attempts to teach them that giving a friend the highest score possible does them no service when it’s not truly deserved). But, how are students supposed to improve their writing if they don’t get honest, constructive feedback? BHP Score moves students in this direction. Plus, peer-editing helps them see where they can improve their own writing.
BHP Score has already changed the way my co-teacher and I approach helping students improve their writing. We LOVE it and are already looking forward (as are our students) to the feedback we’ll get from Investigations 6 and 9.
About the author: Jami McLing has been teaching history at her middle school in Idaho Falls, Idaho, for 10 years. This is her fourth year teaching BHP. She teaches the year-long BHP course to eighth graders in two 50-minute classes per day.