Our District Leadership Team recently took a deep dive into the first element of Marzano’s Instructional Framework, “Providing Rigorous Learning Goals and Performance Scales (Rubrics).” As we participated in instructional rounds and discussed what clear goals and performance scales should look like according to the protocol provided in the framework, it became clear that we have much work to do. This first element, with the biggest effect size on student achievement, may also be the hardest to implement with fidelity across every grade and content area!! Read more
This is the sixth post in a series of short YouTube videos by Rick Wormeli, author of the book Fair Isn’t Always Equal. This episode focuses on the power of frequent formative assessments and tying that into a standards based grading system. I wish I had learned about the power of formative assessments and a standards based approach to grading when I was teaching… Might you take what @RickWormeli has to offer and implement it in your classroom tomorrow??
So I’m asking some questions in #isd186… Do we count late work? How much is homework part of a grade? Do we average points out of points possible to determine a grade? Is it better if we categorize grades into assessments, homework, projects, etc…? At some point in a career every teacher struggles with the sacred cow – the GRADE BOOK… How do we record points – or better rather – how do we record the level at which a student has demonstrated mastery of a standard in order to communicate those results and use them for instructional planning?
These are thought-provoking questions and not ones that our college courses prepared us well for. So… Here are a few thoughts from respected expert @RickWormeli on grading:
So how do you calculate grades? Does your software get in the way? How can you work around that? Guskey says – if there is one thing he would get rid of it’s using averages. How will you get rid of averages in your grade calculations? How do you define what a grade actually is?
This 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!
This 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
Series Post #2:
How much should homework count in a student’s grade for a class? As a young teacher I proudly 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.
So 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