Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 54: Updating Grades

This year (and last year) I have been awful about putting grades into our online gradebook.  This is partially because I have trouble figuring out what I want to be grading and how to grade it.  I don't really want to grade things based on completion because it shows the students that my priority is the work rather than the understanding.

In geometry, they are SO focused on the grades that they will miss the point of an assignment and focus solely on the grade attached to it.

As of tomorrow, I will have 2 grades in the gradebook for pre-algebra and 1 for geometry.  In pre-algebra, they've been working in their workbooks for what they THINK is a completion grade.  I'm giving them a grade based on the number of stamps they have (maximum of 3 per section.)  The catch is that when they come to me for stamps, I can check their work and make sure they are in the right direction.

"This looks really good! Let's talk about number 3. Tell me what's happening here."

Instead of "I'm done! I need my stamp!" we have a conversation about the work, their understanding of the concepts and their pace through the material.  This also allows me to differentiate my requirements for each student.  If a certain student understands the basic ideas of scientific notation, but is struggling with very large or very small numbers, I can address those concerns individually.

Yesterday, I wrote about how engaged they were with what I consider to be a low-level task.  Today, I'm seeing it in a new light.  This is allowing me to differentiate my instruction for each individual.  There have only been 2 major issues so far, one positive and one negative.

My main concern is that if I am not working directly with a student or their group, they have a tendency to be disruptive to the rest.  This may just be a function of the amount of time that they are given and I need to devise stations for them.  This is something that I've been thinking about for a while, but have not done the logistics work for yet.

Someone needs to light a fire under my butt!

Geometry took a quiz that was partner graded  We went over the answers as a group and I never saw the results.  We talked about what they needed to do if they were not happy with their scores.  Even without having the grades entered into the book, several kids were upset for the rest of the period about their performance.

I need to be more focused on the growth mindset for them, the idea that failure only happens when you give up.

Everything else is a learning experience.

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