Now’s the Time to Take the Plunge

Teachers Going Gradeless is just two months old and our Facebook group has ballooned to include over 2,000 members from almost every continent on the globe (still no Antarctica). We’d like you to join us for a series of Twitter chats this summer, examining the whys, the hows, and the whats of going gradeless. The … Continue reading Now’s the Time to Take the Plunge

The Grade Divide

Take a moment to think about the purpose of grades. What comes to mind? Historically speaking, grades were verbal reports from the teacher to parents about what students knew and could do, as well as areas in which they could improve (Brookhardt et al). Percentages and letter grades entered the academic scene in the early 20th century, … Continue reading The Grade Divide

The Limits of Community and the Future of Going Gradeless

This is the second in a series of posts exploring teaching and learning in the de-graded and de-tested language arts classroom. Read the first post here.  Teaching can be a lonely profession. Even though I come into contact with 120 people every day, most of the interactions are asynchronous. The relationships I have with my … Continue reading The Limits of Community and the Future of Going Gradeless

TG² Reads: SHIFT THIS!

SHIFT THIS: How to Implement Gradual Changes for Massive Impact in Your Classroom by Joy Kirr Paperback, 195 pages Tired of doing the same thing over and over again in the classroom? Do you feel like you’re doing most of the work in the classroom? Want to make learning more student-centered? If so, Shift This! … Continue reading TG² Reads: SHIFT THIS!

Beyond Mandates and Measurement: Lessons from Genocidal Education

In 2005, after my first year teaching junior high English, Illinois passed a mandate to expand the required Holocaust unit to include other acts of genocide. Like most new teachers, I turned to colleagues for help, but found very few knew much about genocide beyond the Holocaust. So I began seeking genocide literature appropriate for junior … Continue reading Beyond Mandates and Measurement: Lessons from Genocidal Education

The Importance of PLNs

Change. Growth. Learning. Three short but complicated words. These intangibles are important to instill in students, and yet, in the day-to-day reality of work, teachers often neglect a need for continual professional growth. And as the years go by, it gets easier to become stubborn and set in one's ways. Change is hard. As teachers push … Continue reading The Importance of PLNs

Explode These Feedback Myths and Get Your Life Back

When asked what recommendations they would give teachers to improve feedback…students claimed to want more, and more useful, responses to their writing. A wide majority — 87% — rated as “important” or “very important” the advice that teachers give more detailed feedback on papers. — Harvard Study of Undergraduate Writing That’ll do, Harvard Study of Undergraduate Writing, that’ll do. I … Continue reading Explode These Feedback Myths and Get Your Life Back