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.
Countless educators, including many in Teachers Going Gradeless, consider Ken O'Connor one of the first to introduce them to the idea that traditional grades are “broken” and that a better approach is possible.
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
Hilda: My lovely, lovely castle. Our castle in the air! Solness: On a firm foundation. One of the more profound ironies of “going gradeless” is realizing just how fundamental grades are to the architecture of schools. Grades undergird nearly everything we do in education. By threatening late penalties and administering one-shot assessments, we focus our … Continue reading How to Build Castles in the Air
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