Lately, I've seen gradeless teachers sharing frustrations about student procrastination as they have eliminated grades and lightened up on due dates. They are bothered because some students wait until the end of the semester to turn in artifacts and prioritize other classes who have strict due dates. This makes it difficult for the classroom teacher to provide meaningful feedback that produces growth.
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
The process of building a portfolio and reflecting on one’s work allows students to demonstrate their best work and participate in the evaluation process, making the teacher’s role more of a facilitator or guide.
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.”
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
This episode features an interview with Patty McGee, author of the book Feedback That Moves Writers Forward.
Procrastination is such a dirty word. In our competitive, production minded society, procrastinating is a sin, but I have always been a procrastinator. There is something about waiting until the last minute that is alluring and exhilarating: the adrenaline rush, the caffeine binge, the loss of sleep. Despite all those thrilling benefits, I have rarely … Continue reading What Happened When I Procrastinated Giving Grades