So here is the text of the email I just composed and hit send to my principal:
Since this summer I have been learning about how to do assessment differently. I have read the book: by Starr Sackstein and have subscribed to the author’s Youtube channel (Watch her TEDxYouth talk here: https://youtu.be/_61kL5jeKqM ) with her video reflections about implementing a classroom without traditional points or letter grades for her assignments.
Obviously, she had to enter letter grades at the grading periods but she was given permission by her principal to use a coding system in a standards based grade book (Like JUMPROPE) for the assignments rather than points and percentages and she conferenced constantly with students with helpful feedback like the SE2R explained here: http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2014/04/se2r-feedback-forever-changes-how-teachers-students-evaluate-learning.html
One of the keys to a successful student-centered, Results Only Learning Environment is the use of narrative feedback over grades. Although feedback isn’t …
She used projects with clear guidelines aligned with the standards they had to focus on and she interspersed mini lessons and discussions for concepts that needed to get demonstrated in the project. She conferenced on a weekly schedule about the learning, and sent them back to re-do and improve until the grading period came. By the end of the year she had students talking about their learning and not the points they had earned.
There is research to support the idea that when students receive a grade, they tend to shelve the learning and stop wanting to improve anything on that one thing https://medium.com/@hhschiaravalli/how-one-weird-finding-changed-my-perspective-on-grades-914f0ea480a9).
How One Weird Finding Changed My Perspective on Grades Now that I know, there’s no going back
At the grading period she would give the students a reflection assignment in which they had to provide evidence of their learning according to the standards they had been working on and together they decided on the grade that they should have recorded in the grade book. All of this is also supported by the characteristics of growth mindset as well.
Here is a podcast with Mark Barnes speaking on his book Assessment 3.0 (which I have yet to get and read myself). He is speaking with the hosts of the podcast, a superintendent and his assistant from Pennsylvania.
Each episode we leave you with a couple of questions to think about…with the idea of provoking conversation. This episode’s question: Ask us a question or suggest …
And this is a TEDtalk by Mark Barnes explaining more about giving feedback instead of grades: https://youtu.be/JShsO5PvYG4
South Meadows Middle School
Dual Language Science teacher
503-844-1220 ext. 5878