Having given my first quiz on the first two skills of the year, I’m faced with a dilemma. I’ve tried to make a really big deal out of “scaling both axes consistently, starting from zero, because I know how important it will be later on in the course. Along these lines, I’ve worded the “X” description of my “skill rubric” as follows: “The scale I used wasn’t consistent, or didn’t start at zero, or many required parts of the graph were missing.”
Doesn’t seem totally right, does it? The first graph clearly knows what a consistent scale is, but thought that 0 to 90 didn’t really count, so do they really deserve the lowest possible grade for their graph? On the other hand, graphing this way won’t make it easy to find “y-intercepts” when the time comes. Foremost on my mind is the very fragile emotional relationship to failure that my students are beginning my class with (see yesterday’s post for details!), and I worry that the students like the one who made the top left graph, and there are MANY, will cross a threshold of frustration that’s unhealthy for the beginning of the year.
Am I just being nitpicky about the importance of “starting from zero”? After the rubric has been written, does whether this is picky or not even matter? Or is this first and foremost another chance to talk about setbacks as learning opportunities?
I’d love any thoughts you have, in the comments below or via twitter at @josephlkremer! We’re doing our self-assessment on Monday, so I have until then to make up my mind how to handle it.
##graphing ##skills ##setbacks ##physicsfirst