A grade range: Student in this range (A or A-) are instrumental to the success of the class discussion. They prepare thoroughly for class by using sticky notes in their text and keeping a detailed journal; identifying questions and passages for discussion; creating links within and between texts; speaking articulately and concisely; listening respectfully to their peers; referring back to comments made earlier in the discussion or earlier in the course; sharing information from other disciplines when relevant; looking up confusing words, concepts or references. They can see when their peers have points to make, and do not jump in to answer every comment or question posed. Their comments are perceptive and can change the course of conversation. They root their ideas in the text. A grade range students are fully invested in Harkness learning and are able to accept and adapt divergent opinions without feeling undermined. They consistently demonstrate in speech and manner respect, enthusiasm and skill for the process and norms of reasoned, rigorous discussion and shared inquiry. A grade range students possess an agile mind, clear leadership and sophisticated literary insight. B grade range: Students in this range (B+, B, B-) advance the progress of the class by regular and apt participation. Their preparation is careful and thoughtful. Their text will have post-its and their journal will have questions and passages of interest. B range students encourage and include other students, although the lower end of this range may not have quite as perceptive a response to peers. Students are attentive, clearly comprehend the material and make intelligent comments. At times B grade range students are differentiated from higher grades by their inability to speak concisely, or to root their ideas in the test. These students speak with confidence and clarity. C grade range: Students in this range (C+, C, C-) make occasional contributions to class, but tend to rely on others to generate the focus and direction. Their participation is inconsistent or ineffective. Their comments might indicate incomplete understanding of the discussion, or may repeat comments made already by other students, indicating a lack of attention. Homework has been completed, but not thoroughly digested. Preparation may be sparse and their text may contain no post its. They occasionally offer perceptive insights, but C grade range students fail to elaborate on them or connect them to the larger themes of the text or course. They may struggle at times to be articulate, or rely heavily on sentence fillers such as ‘like’ or ‘um’. D grade range: These students make only occasional contributions (one per class or less) and views are rarely shared. Students fail to engage with the ideas of their peers. This grade also applies to students who may occasionally interrupt or distract peers, or who work against the creation of a supportive discussion environment. Preparation is careless, observations rarely move beyond the factual or literal. Students are visibly uncomfortable speaking and struggle to articulate ideas. F grade range: Unsatisfactory speech, manner, or attitude. F grades students play no active role, show no evidence of preparation, appear impatient or restless with the work of the class and offer inaccurate, implausible or unconnected ideas about the reading.
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