Communicate by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images As an 11th grade English teacher using equitable grading practices (including a four-point scale, standards-based grading, report card grades created exclusively from summative assessment, and a comprehensive retake policy), I recognize it’s my responsibility to inform students, parents, administrators, counselors, and other teachers about these practices that can… Continue reading Communicating Grading Reform Practices and Policies With Parents
As a high school English teacher, teacher coach, and grading and assessment consultant, I hear lots of teacher concerns about grading reform. Below are 10 of the most common grading questions/concerns that I hear from teachers, along with my short response to each. Isn’t minimum grading just giving lazy students something for nothing? A: Minimum… Continue reading 10 Common Grading Concerns And Answers
For those looking to either begin grading reform or continue some initial work they’ve begun, an important early step is to create a grading purpose statement. Such a statement allows students and parents to better understand your grades. It also helps you to make consistent and focused grading-related decisions. But Why Is This Necessary? A… Continue reading Purposeful Grading Reform: Beginning with a Purpose Statement
If you've taken steps to improve your own grading practices to be more accurate and equitable, then hats off to you. But a big part of a teacher's grading reform work should also be helping other teachers to do the same. Few teachers, if any, receive any education on effective grading in their teacher preparation… Continue reading Helping Teachers to Begin Grading Reform: A Staff-wide Grading Email
Like it or not, our schools are rapidly changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When schools first closed in March, educators had little time to prepare for the precipitate transition to distance learning. Perhaps most challenging was the unknown: not knowing what effective distance learning instruction looks like, not knowing exactly how to do it,… Continue reading Planning Ahead to Keep Up With the Rapid Evolution of School
Image by Gerd Altmann As distance learning continues around the country, teachers may find themselves grappling with the topic of student motivation. Bereft of the traditional tools and strategies commonly used to motivate students in face-to-face instruction, teachers may feel powerless to teach any student other than the most motivated. And for many, the biggest… Continue reading Motivating Students Without Grades
Once districts take the significant step of officially changing their reporting system, the real work of transitioning to the new system begins.
Here are some distance learning recommendations on learning expectations, assessment, feedback, and grading to consider when making decisions in learning teams.
In this post, I'm proposing five steps to address some of the big distance learning problems. Of course every school and district is different, but I think if every school across the country took these five steps, our students will be in a pretty good place once we come out the other end of this crisis.
I’ve been openly critical of the packets that school districts around the country have assigned en masse as a part of their COVID-19 response plans. So I’d like to provide context for these criticisms. I'd also like to point out that these criticisms are meant to push our schools to continue to do more to serve… Continue reading Some Criticisms of Distance Learning Packets