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
For the past 25 years, I’ve taught writing through a workshop model, conferencing for two or three minutes with as many students as possible as they write in class. I would collect the pieces every couple of weeks and spend long weekends grading them at home. However, a few weeks ago, Aaron Blackwelder’s blog post, … Continue reading Flipped Feedback — The Impact on Student Growth
As an English teacher, teaching writing and supporting developing writers is paramount. I want to see my students write regularly and hone their skills to communicate meaningful ideas. However, every essay means time for me to read, make comments, and this usually means sacrificing hours of personal time. According to The Washington Post, the average … Continue reading How to Value Personal Time While Providing Great Feedback
Does going gradeless automatically guarantee an equitable classroom? Could gradelessness produce inequitable outcomes? Can privilege, bias, and oppression still find its way into my teaching practice, regardless of my best intentions? I, for one, am thankful to have had gradeless educators pushing my thinking about these questions, helping me move from naive optimism to a … Continue reading Equity in the Gradeless Classroom Roundtable
Sifting through the #extracredit hashtag on Twitter, it seems there are more extra credit opportunities than learning opportunities. If the situations I share below look familiar, it's probably because many teachers are providing similar options for extra credit. Of course I took some liberties: I had to try to make some of it funny, because … Continue reading What’s Wrong with Extra Credit?
My teacher partner Emily had a great idea for my blog: starting each blog with a question to think about. So, here is the question: what do grades mean to you? Yes, loaded question. But this blog post is about grading less. And about going gradeless. This week, we had parent-teacher conferences. Last night, … Continue reading Feedbacking Over Grading
Editors: Most TG2 teachers find ways of grading less in traditional, mainstream settings. There are, however, many teachers in our midst who work in nontraditional environments, ones that have moved away from grades on a building- or system-wide basis. Our intention with these TG2+ posts is not to advocate for one or another of these … Continue reading TG2+: Competency Based Learning