|A terrible question for my students, but a great drawing!|
Apparently, I was amiss in my day numbering. Apparently, we don't count days that were canceled so today is really only 81.
Knowing that today was going to be Test day in all of my classes, I made a huge mistake over the weekend. I had a great time and didn't think about school at all.
That's not exactly true. I thought math and such, and how to demonstrate real world math to my classes, but I didn't think about "lessons" or "grading."
After doing some estimation, I had the students watch a few videos about exponential growth, including my own video in which I make pasta!
I haven't put in grades in my classes in over a month and it's making me insanely conflicted.
The old-school Justin is FREAKING OUT because he used to put in grades every week and we have a district policy that says grades have to be updated weekly.
The new-school Justin has really been enjoying the learning environment in which his students have been exploring math without the pressure of grades. They have been completing assignment very well, participating in discussions and becoming better at their chosen skills. They just haven't been graded on them.
This morning, several geometry kids asked me the same question: "Are you going to update grades?"
The follow-up is really what bothered me: "My dad is really unhappy with my grade."
We are never going to get away from the destructive A-F grading system until parents stop pushing for it. I've been trying to move towards Standards Based Grading, but I haven't given it the fair amount of time that it requires. On top of that, I'll still have to translate it back to an A-F system at the end of the grading period.
At the same time, there is something in the back of my mind that's nagging at me, making me wonder if the real reason I've become so anti-grading is out of sheer laziness. I don't wanna do grades. I just wanna teach! I want to explore mathematics with my students and not worry about developing a numerical system for evaluating their knowledge.
No matter how many times I tell them otherwise, students can't seem to stop using grades as a measure of self-worth.
Maybe I should start telling myself the same thing about student engagement not being a measure of my value as a teacher.
I think I'm starting to psych myself out. I think I was expecting, with such a drastic change in me, there would be a drastic change in the students. There may be over time, but not as instantly as I would want.
I need to keep reminding myself of that.
Do the best you can and don't stress about the rest.
But am I doing the best I can?
I doubt it.
Upon further inspection, 3 geometry students have C's while the rest have B's and A's. In the pre-algebra classes, however, there are 5 C's, 7 D's and everyone else has an F...
This is similar to the grade books for the science, social studies and English teachers for the same children.