Giving up grades was the single biggest shift in my classroom in 2014.
As the reins began to loosen on teacher control of learning, so did the anxiety in the classroom and mastery became the buzzword.
Students are slowly learning that “what did I get on that?” is not a conversation starter about learning. Instead it will lead them down a road of reminders about how grades don’t matter.
Instead of “what’s my grade?” we shift the conversation to “what did I learn?” and students are now involved in the process.
Here are some of my favorite posts on grading to reflect on from the journey:
- Students React to a Classroom Without Grades - read about how students have responded to being a classroom that doesn’t use grades to communicate learning.
- Why it’s Time to Give Up Grades - Grades don’t serve anyone in our system except those who issue them. Once thought to communicate learning, we now understand that this was a mistake. So here is one alternative.
- Parents React to a Classroom Without Grades - Are parents your biggest obstacle to giving up grades? Maybe it’s just about education. We can’t make major educational reforms without all of the stakeholders taking part.
- The First Step to Giving Up Grades is... - So you agree that giving up grades will improve student learning and now you’re asking, “but how?” Keep reading to find out a few ways to start.
- Changing the Conversation: Grades vs Learning - Ever wonder if the grading was the best way to handle communication about student achievement? Consider the system we currently use and ask yourself, is this the best we can do? Read on for another option that my just work better.
Grading has become a polarizing topic in education, like many of our traditions that don’t seem to make sense. 2015 needs to be a year of change so we can reclaim our noble profession for the people it matters most to, our students.
What would it take to get you to reconsider grading practices in your classroom? Please share
The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.