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Rick Wormeli on Redos, Retakes, and Do-Overs

Fair Isn't Always EqualThis is the fourth post in a series of short YouTube videos by Rick Wormeli, author of the book Fair Isn’t Always Equal.  If you’re willing to ask honest questions about your practices and rules about late work – you’re golden and will love the questions posed by @RickWormeli.  If you aren’t courageous enough to ask honest questions, this one might not be for you.  My expectation: anyone teaching our children must be able to soundly defend all decisions about practice, resources, and delivery with research and evidence.  So…  What are your answers to Rick’s questions?  Do you provide opportunities for redos?  Late work?  Do-Overs?  How does this calculate into a quarter or semester or final grade?  I encourage a deep dive into Wormeli and Guskey’s work and some reflection on how to make it happen in your classroom!

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Rick Wormeli on Standards-Based Grading

Fair Isn't Always EqualThis is the third post in a series of short YouTube videos by Rick Wormeli, author of the book Fair Isn’t Always Equal.  It begins to dig into the core of Rick’s work on differentiation and standards based instruction.  Do you average your students’ grades?  Warning: Rick calls that out as wrong practice in this video.  His argument is well supported by other differentiation and grading experts such as Guskey and Tomlinson.  So what to do to grade student work?  Don’t worry – Rick has solutions too in his book.  Just keep listening, thinking, asking,  debating, and reading.  After all, it makes sense in sports or an orchestra.  We simply don’t learn at the same pace and it really is performance against the standard that matters…  So how do we enter that in a grade book?  Read more »


New Approach to Tranportation

I’ve decided that the big yellow school buses with no weight in the rear are just not the correct approach to transporting students in the northern half of the great state of Minnesota.  When windchills approach – 40 they struggle to start.  4 – 5 inches of snow piled up by a plow result in stuck buses and an all hands on deck rescue mission.  So in #ISD186 we’re investing in a new, much greener approach to transporting students thanks to the modern technology of Hans Solo and Luke Skywalker.  Take that #polarvortex!!




Rick Wormeli on Homework and Grading

Series Post #2:

How much should homework count in a student’s grade for a class?  As a young teacher I Fair Isn't Always Equalproudly professed that a student could earn F’s on all of my tests/assessments and still pull off a B in the class if they completed their homework and did it well.  As I’ve learned more about standards based instruction, differentiation, and standards based grading I’ve become quite ashamed of those early declarations.  I was missing a fundamental understanding of the role of homework, the role of assessments, and the definition of what a grade in a class actually is.

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Rick Wormeli on Late Work

Fair Isn't Always EqualSo I’m half way into my first year as superintendent of #isd186 in Pequot Lakes, MN and I’ve landed on a theme for a series of much-needed posts to cultivate authentic, meaningful dialogue in our collaborative teams.  Last night I pulled an olde but a goodie off the shelf –  Rick Wormeli’s book Fair Isn’t Always Equal.  The messages in this book – and the core arguments of @RickWormeli – are ones we need to read, understand, and wrestle with in the schools we are so proud of.  The opportunity I had on MLK day to address the entire teaching staff about aligning our work to our mission – student achievement – rekindled a passion in me to be frustrated with mediocrity and to intentionally question the practices we engage in that compromise on best serving students.  Wormeli gets it and we have much to learn from him.  I just can’t settle for mediocrity…  My children and your children deserve better.  I’m guessing we can all agree on that much…  Read more »