Statement of Involvement

Below is Robert’s Statement of Involvement for those following the thread started by Diane:

He clarifies:

If someone disagrees with the description or statement of equity, then this becomes the basis for a conversation about collaborative and collegial work. If someone comes later and says they signed that they agreed under pressure, then this becomes a conversation about intimidation and bullying. Also, the space for describing what each person did should be larger. The group can also continue on the back if necessary. I have only three lines for signatures because these groups should not be larger than three people; larger groups become unwieldy and allow students to “coast”.


Statement of Involvement

1.     In the space below, describe fully what each member of the group contributed to the project.

2.     In the space below, check the box indicating your opinion of the overall participation on the project and sign your name next to your evaluation.

The work was distributed fairly and equitably. Everyone did his/her part.

Yes, I agree No, I disagree

____               ____          ______________________________________

____                ____          ______________________________________

____                ____          ______________________________________


Here is the comment from Robert to Diane in which the Statement of Involvement is first mentioned:

You did a good job of diagnosing the issue: they got away with more off-task English conversations then. They don’t really want to work, remember through a distorted lens the pleasure of that off-task behavior, and yearn for it. They disguise this, though, by asking for a different kind of “work” – a kind that is educationally acceptable. (Obviously they know how the school game works.) As Ben indicated, the trick is to give them what they asked for without giving them what they want. Don’t just return to book work but return to book work on steroids. Plan things so that a student who is diligent could get all of it done during the period, but anyone who is off task cannot. Then collect it at the end of the period. Do not allow anyone to take it home as homework. If students are absent, then they get the previous work packet when they return as well as the work for that day – the work doesn’t lessen because they were absent. You could even let them plan a video or skit this way. But to create the skit or video they must give you – using class time only – a storyboard and a fully fleshed-out script including stage directions and dialogue in the target language. They must also give you a statement of who did what in the group so you can see if the work was distributed fairly and you can distribute the grade on the project fairly. I’ll send Ben a copy of a Statement of Involvement that I have used in the past. Every student in the group must sign the statement that he or she agrees with the description of involvement. (So, if a student is listed as “did nothing”, you have a signature that the student agreed with this.) Again, be merciless in figuring the amount of time for this “project” – just enough that a diligent student can do it, but goofing off will sabotage the grade. Do not let students take the storyboard or script home; all work must be done in class. Only when complete can they take it home for reference. It must be memorized and it must be spot on; that is, they must speak precisely the script they have written with natural intonation and good pronunciation. Any deviation from the script, unintelligible pronunciation or monotone delivery will be graded down. (Remember, they aren’t asking to do natural communication but rehearsed presentation. Most students have no idea how bad they are at this; you might even film them.) If they do a video and you catch anyone in the video reading lines, they fail the project. Same thing if they try to crib notes in a skit. This is serious stuff! Be sure you make this rubric absolutely clear from the first, perhaps even sending it home for parental signature. This is an extreme solution, but it is along the lines of “be careful what you ask for, because you might get it.” Again, give them what they ask for (work sheets, book work, skits) not what they want (class time in which they can be off task and speak English with their friends).



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