Averageless: Setting a higher standard

While the benefits of a gradeless classroom are attractive, with feedback and discussion replacing numbers and ‘fire and forget’ assignments and introspection and intrinsic motivation supplanting whinging and grade grubbing, we all know that cultural norms and expectations (of students, parents, administrators, and teachers) can cause anxiety and distract from effective implementation

Diving into Portfolios in a Gradeless Biology Classroom

I explained the importance of giving students feedback, but realized it wouldn't be much use, since there really was no opportunity for improvement. It was more about making sure each student had met each standard. She pressed me further, “but why do you need to be the judge of that? Have them evaluate it themselves.”

Edtech in the Gradeless Classroom: Google Keep

"To one with a hammer, everything looks like a nail." This adage reveals the power tools have to shape our perceptions. What does this mean for the tools we use in the classroom? If using a hammer pushes me to see nails wherever I look, how is the grade book software on my computer influencing … Continue reading Edtech in the Gradeless Classroom: Google Keep

Now’s the Time For You to Shine

Summer sat across from me, apologizing. “I had to change my goals a little.” I smiled, delighted to hear that she had been reflecting on her goals, and urged her to continue talking. “I had intended to write a short story and work on character development,” Summer continued, “But I decided to focus more on … Continue reading Now’s the Time For You to Shine

Now’s the Time to Spark a Conversation

This past week, I had the honor of hosting our second chat on “Getting Started.” I thought that participating in the previous #TG2Chat (Aaron Blackwelder moderating) was intense. Taking on the mantle of moderator notched it up to a whole new level. It was also a blessedly busy week of blog posts about going gradeless: … Continue reading Now’s the Time to Spark a Conversation

Using Self-assessment Letters for a Conversational Evaluation

Breaking the monopoly of evaluation In the interest of supporting the autonomy of our students, we should seek every opportunity to place students "behind the wheel" of their own learning (see Ike Shibley's "Putting Students in the Driver Seat"). This issue becomes particularly sensitive when it comes to evaluation. We know what a powerful learning … Continue reading Using Self-assessment Letters for a Conversational Evaluation