Author Archives: Sarah M. Zerwin

Unpacking focused, engaged silence, and how not grading made space for it #StopGrading

A palpable silence descended in room 811. Three classes in a row the silence fell, at the same moment in my plan for that day. It wasn’t a silent reading silence, or a working on a writing task silence, or a … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, community, feedback, grading, motivating students, not grading, teaching writing, workshop teaching | 8 Comments

And the best way to take conference notes is…

I don’t actually know what the best way is to take notes on my reading and writing conferences with my students. But a new method (to me) has recently descended upon me that is working pretty well. It all came about … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, conferring, feedback, gradebook, teaching reading, teaching writing, Uncategorized, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

Some poetry, a broken bone, and gratitude that winter is over

I write this from my dining room table on the Monday of spring break. I can hear my husband typing away in the office. My daughter is working out an Adele song on the piano downstairs. I can hear rain–sorely … Continue reading

Posted in balancing, life and death, muddling through, poetry, reflections, time, writing with students | 4 Comments

Step Ten: #StopGrading and ask your students to evaluate their own learning

  I’ve had this post on my to-do list for months. To be honest, this is the piece of this whole process that I have the most questions about, so I just kept putting off writing it. I’m in a … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, 21st century teaching and learning, assessment, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, gradebook, grading, making change, not grading | 2 Comments

Ways to keep your students working without points (#StopGrading)

  In conversations with teachers about alternatives to traditional assessment, especially skeptical teachers, I often hear, “there’s no way my students will work without points.” I get it. I do. My journey to here has been lengthy. Paradigm shift does … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, gradebook, grading, motivating students, not grading, workshop teaching | 2 Comments

An Incomplete List–Writing with Students

At NCTE last week, the other Paper Graders and I discussed this blog space and what we want to do with it from here on out. One thing we thought we’d add is some of our own personal writing, the … Continue reading

Posted in #UNHLit16, cultivating real learning, life and death, mentor texts, teaching writing, writer's notebooks, writing, writing with students | 2 Comments

#NCTE16 Day Three: Radical Loving Kindness and Deepened Purpose

  We were lucky this year to be able to do two presentations. Today’s was about surviving teaching. We intended an interactive session where our attendees talked more than we did. We wanted them to have space for conversation about … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE16, 21st century teaching and learning, kindness, making change, society, teaching | 2 Comments

Fierce Kindness, Day Two, #NCTE16

I’m writing this while hanging out at Java Monkey in Decatur. Jay is strumming away on the guitar and singing his songs. We’re eating vegan cake, enjoying some wine. We actually ran into a former student of ours who now … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE16, kindness, literacy, on the road again, relationship, teaching, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#StopGrading Presentation Resources #NCTE16

Hello friends–we now have a bunch of new ones! Thanks for coming to our #StopGrading presentation. We enjoyed talking with you.   Here’s the website full of resources that we shared in our presentation. Please share as widely as you … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE16, #StopGrading, assessment, balancing, gratitude, not grading, on the road again, presenting, professional development | Leave a comment

Hope Among Escalators, Elevators, and Revolving Doors, #NCTE16

Escalators were the theme of the day for us. We took the bus from Boulder to the Denver airport and took a very long escalator up from the bus depot to the terminal. A bus driver had told Tracy that … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE16, balancing, gratitude, the system, things made of awesome | Leave a comment