How Accurate Are Your Grades?
…so I know that the thought of trying some other system will likely be daunting. But if it means our grades will have more integrity, it’s worth it. One alternative to consider is something called a decaying average, which puts more weight on assignments done later in a learning cycle. In theory, this recognizes that skills should improve over time. Although this approach seems to work better in skill-based classes, it shows us one way to rethink the way we calculate grades so they are better aligned with who our students are as learners. Grades are inherently imperfect. To truly…Read More
Episode 13: Could You Teach Without Grades?
…them and when they can, that’s great, but I’m not going to penalize the ones that need more time. How a No-Grades Classroom Works Gonzalez: Okay, let’s talk a little bit about the actual logistics of it. Sackstein: Okay. Gonzalez: How do you– Because what you’re doing right now is you’re running no-grades classrooms within a traditionally graded school. So you’re expected to turn in report cards with traditional grades on them. Sackstein: Yes. Gonzalez: Okay, so how do you run that whole system? Sackstein: Okay so basically kids are doing long term projects in all of my classes, essentially….Read More
How to Turn Rubric Scores into Grades
…of time, then you’re good to go. For me, this conversation really highlights the fallibility of grades in general, because if we just gave students feedback and didn’t try so hard to define things with letter grades, our students would get what they need and would probably be better off — it’s so difficult for everyone to agree on what grades mean, anyway. In episode 94 (and the post that goes with it), I mention the Teachers Throwing Out Grades Facebook group. I think you’d find their conversations really interesting. Britney Lynn I love this! My rubric is limiting and…Read More
Could You Teach Without Grades?
…of how the no-grades approach could actually work, I wanted to share it with you, so I invited Starr to talk with me about it. You can listen to our conversation in my newest podcast episode. Learn more about going gradeless in Starr’s newest book, Hacking Assessment, 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School You can find Starr’s work on her own blog and her Education Week blog, Work in Progress. Follow her on Twitter at @mssackstein. Other Resources Mentioned in this Episode: A Repair Kit for Grading: Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades , by…Read More
Delaying the Grade: How to Get Students to Read Feedback
…about it! It’s hard to fake that part! As far as grades for the process, I usually give my students completion grades (not my favorite, but it provides some motivation to not wait to the end to write the essay) along the way. For example, first their annotated sources are due, then a thesis, then their first body paragraph, etc. Also, I use Google Docs, so I give feedback on these things along the way, in addition to conferencing with them throughout the process. Please feel free to contact me if you have more questions! (@loudenclear blog on IG, Twitter…Read More
A Few Ideas for Dealing with Late Work
…grading is in a healthy place. Here are some questions to think about: What do your grades represent? How much of your grades are truly based on academic growth, and how much are based mostly on compliance? If they lean more toward compliance, then what you’re doing when you try to manage late work is basically a lot of administrative paper pushing, rather than teaching your content. Although it’s important for kids to learn how to manage deadlines, do you really want an A in your course to primarily reflect the ability to follow instructions? If your grades are too…Read More
Kiddom: Standards-Based Grading Made Wonderful
…of SBG. The problems with a points-based system for overall grades are numerous and have been well documented if you care to look. In any case, a back-end reliance on computing overall grades fundamentally as dividing points earned by points possible is a non-starter for me. I want the rubric-based feedback, uncoupled from the 0-100 scale grades. There are other ways to get an overall grade then merely division, and I can’t see how to change settings in Kiddom open these options up for me. Dylan Boyd I meant to add that I’ve browsed briefly through the other posts in…Read More
Episode 61: Seven Systems that Work for Outside-the-Box Learners
…of … they’re not looking. And I will tell you teachers, you need to understand this. What parents will do a lot of times is they’ll look at the online grades, and they’ll just look at the grades. So they’ll see, “Oh, my student has a 72 percent or an 84 percent.” They don’t click on the part of the grading program that opens up the details, and they don’t know how to look for patterns in the details like teachers would. GONZALEZ: Got it. PERLER: So what I see when I look at the grades is I’ll see a…Read More
3 Surprising Reasons Students Don’t Get into Top Colleges
Listen to my interview with Shirag Shemmassian (transcript): For many of our students, getting into a good college is a top priority. They work like crazy to get perfect grades, spend years enrolled in test-prep courses, and sign up for every extracurricular activity available. After all, this is what they have been advised to do. It turns out that this widely prescribed triad of perfect grades, perfect test scores, and a laundry list of extracurriculars may be a bit…imprecise. In other words, a lot of what we think will get students into highly selective colleges might actually have…Read More