Saturday, January 4, 2014

Final Blog-grading

A Repair Kit For Grading caused me to think about grading practices that are currently used and how they could be improved. The biggest idea I have taken away from this book is the need for standard based reporting. Indicating where students are in becoming proficient on a particular standard is much more informative for students and parents. It also shows parents what standards their child needs to continue to work on.

When I read and thought about some of the "fixes" presented by Ken O'Connor, I was skeptical about how they would work. However, after giving the ideas more thought and discussing them with others, I now believe many of the fixes are worth putting into practice. One of the ideas is accepting late work without penalty. My mindset needed to change and accept the idea that an academic grade should not include student behaviors. We need to grade things such as effort, responsibility, punctuality, and behavior separately from the standard.

Since I have been an educator, there has been a general idea that every practice assignment needed to be graded, or students wouldn't  do the work. It makes more sense to use formatve assessments to determine  if students need additional practice or reteaching. Summative assessments are the only ones that should be used for grading.

As teachers, our goal is for students to master the standards for each class or grade. In order for mastery to occur, it may mean allowing students to redo assignments, quizzes, or tests. It also may involve the teacher reteaching material, or giving students additional practice work in order to achieve mastery.

Grades need to tell what students know, whether they have met a standard, and what they need to continue to work on. Standards based reporting will communicate these things to students and parents.

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