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Episode 167: Co-Constructing Success Criteria

…about the whole child when planning assessments and assessing students throughout the formative process.  GONZALEZ: A lot of this, our original interview years and years ago was about teaching without grades. At the point where I was talking to you anyway you were really moving toward figuring out how to kind of go graceless within a school structure where grades were still very much required of you. I think that’s still where most teachers are even if they have really embraced the idea that traditional grading is not serving our students, we have not changed the system and the structures…

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Episode 32: How and Why We Should Let Our Students Fail (Jessica Lahey)

…has happened where like if I go out and I haven’t entered grades into the system—and I’m not using it right now, but when this was happening before—you know there’s this kind of feeling like Why aren’t you at home doing that grading?, because you know, really need to see this stuff. And teachers I’ve talked to have said “Look, I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t because if I don’t put the grades in, I’m getting all kinds of emails saying ‘Why aren’t the grades in?’ And the minute I the grades are in, I’m getting…

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A Non-Freaked Out Guide to Teaching the Common Core

…— it only covers the anchor standards for English language arts. Also, because Stuart is a high school teacher and speaks from his own and his colleagues’ experience, the concepts will be less applicable for primary teachers. But for everyone else — I’d say grades 4 and up — this will serve as a useful guide. The book also does not delve into grade-specific standards. For that level of detail, Stuart recommends Jim Burke’s Common Core Companion series, which has separate volumes for Grades K-2 , Grades 3-5 , Grades 6-8 , and Grades 9-12 . Although I feel the book…

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A Step-by-Step Plan for Teaching Argumentative Writing

…in the meantime? Throughout this 2 week stretch? Jennifer Gonzalez Ideally, you wouldn’t need to take grades at all, waiting until the final paper is done to give one grade. If your school requires more frequent grades, you could assign small point values for getting the incremental steps done: So in Step 3 (when students have to write a paragraph stating their point of view) you could take points for that. During the writer’s workshop phase, you might give points for completion of a rough draft and participation points for peer review (ideally, they’d get some kind of feedback on…

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Is Your Lesson a Grecian Urn?

…is something we all need to be aware of in our own teaching. I also find it frustrating how often those “Grecian Urns” get praise from other teachers/administrators. Thank you for addressing this. Barbara A comment and a question here. First, I think sometimes “urns” are assigned to help students raise their grades. If students don’t perform well on tests and quizzes, their grades sink. An “urn” gives them the opportunity to earn an A–and hey, it’s on a complicated project!–to help bolster sagging grades. Second, what about interactive notebooks? I’m experimenting with a science/SS interactive notebook this year (I’m…

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When a Student Hates You

…I had my reasons, sort of. I was trying to make them feel better. They knew Mark got fantastic grades. And Mark was so mature, so laid-back. He knew I thought he was great, right? He could take a little ribbing. I was so sure of this that when I made the comment, it didn’t occur to me that it would bother him. But as he left class that day, he didn’t look over and say “see you later” like he usually did. He kept his eyes straight ahead. Stone-faced. No lopsided grin. It registered with me, but not for…

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Frickin’ Packets

…than giving everyone the same stuff. Show them how to select the materials they need and where to store them for future reference. 2. Skills Practice Many teachers use worksheets to give students practice in required skills. This seems to be most common in math (or, in the later grades, with things like chemistry equations). While this method obviously gives teachers some of the results they’re hoping for, if you take a few things into consideration, you can probably refine the practice. Here are some questions to consider when heading to the copy machine: How much practice is really needed?…

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Episode 57: Nine Simple Solutions for Common Teaching Problems

…thing in education has been assessment, and the idea of de-emphasizing traditional grades and eventually going gradeless, and the subtitle of that book is “Ten Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grade School.” And I’ve written a lot of about this, and years ago I started a Facebook group called Teachers Throwing Out Grades, which has almost 7,000 people in it now from around the world. And at last count I think it was like nearly 200 countries represented, and these are people who say, “We don’t like traditional grades. We don’t want to label kids. We don’t to…

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Episode 171: Does Your School Need a Literacy Check-Up?

…to make sure we’re paying attention to those five pillars of reading instruction that have been around since the National Reading Panel’s report in the year 2000. So that is phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, reading comprehension and then also vocabulary development. So what I’ve shared here, everything in the book is broken into different levels, so there are four levels. The early years we call it, and that’s grades pre-K through 2, elementary grades 3 through 5, middle years roughly 6 through 8, and then high school 9 through 12. So what’s in the blog post for the pre-K level…

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