Contracts Without Products

“I Was Just Wondering About This”
“I Need to Know About” Forms

Two separate contracts appear on the next eight pages. Each is four pages long. The first three pages of each support the planning process and document the student’s exploration. The fourth page records student and teacher evaluations.

Three features are common to both of the contracts.

  • They both invite the student to celebrate completion in some way on the first page.
  • They both ask the student and teacher to share the evaluation procedure.
  • They both result in a comment to be used when reporting to parents.

They differ in significant ways to respond to the needs and expertise of different students.

  • The Was Just Wondering About form introduces novices to contracts to a process for refining and exploring a topic. First-timers and beginners will need more support than veterans. As students complete a second or third contract for ‘Wondering”, the teacher-support can be reduced.
  • The “I Need to Know About” form provides learners who already have a manageable topic with a series of more specific prompts for negotiating, organizing, planning and monitoring their explorations.

Evaluation of a student’s learning with these two forms is a collaborative process. Students should complete their part of the evaluation form before meeting with the teacher to present it. Teachers can complete their part of the form while discussing the student’s self-evaluation. With practice, students can compose the report card comment but initially they are likely to need substantial modeling from the teacher.

“I Was Just Wondering” [pdf]
“I Need To Know” [pdf]