Category Archives: making change

Trust your students, trust yourself, and #StopGrading.

My colleagues and I did our #StopGrading presentation at our state ELA conference a few weeks ago. Seeing as we’ll be doing the same presentation later this month at NCTE in Atlanta, we distributed notecards to the teachers who came … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, fall 2016 blog series, feedback, grading, making change, muddling through, not grading, presenting, the system, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

Step Nine: Coming to a Grade Agreement with Students as You #StopGrading

  The first semester I went gradeless, I didn’t have in place any kind of agreement with students regarding what would make an A, B, C, etc. once we had to put something in the gradebook at the end of … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, assessment, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, grading, making change, muddling through, not grading, student feedback, surprises | 7 Comments

Drafting Presentations Part 1: Addendum

Finished the presentations today. Nothing I saw changed my thoughts from my initial opinion. Which reminded me of a pedagogical principle: if you need to ‘grade’ or assess a piece of work, you need to read every student’s work. If … Continue reading

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Drafting Presentations Part 1: Epiphany

I was sitting in class today, listening to the sixth of seventeen group presentations I will hear in the next three days. They were pretty much bad. Not bad in the inarticulate way, but bad in the ‘we’re going through … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, cultivating real learning, making change, speaking, teaching paradigm | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

I don’t want to talk to parents about grades at parent/teacher conferences #StopGrading

You know the drill. Parent sits down for a conference at parent/teacher conferences. You pull up your grade records for the student. You walk the parent through the grade data, pointing out what the student is doing well and what … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, gradebook, grading, gratitude, making change, not grading, relationship, things made of awesome | 4 Comments

Step Five: Starting the #StopGrading Conversation with Students

“Is Alfie Kohn right or is his argument total crap?” So went the opening question for the Socratic seminar I planned for the first day of school Friday. Rather than reviewing a syllabus with my seniors, rather than doing any … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, assessment, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, grading, making change, not grading, student feedback, teaching | 9 Comments

Step Four: Get Admin Behind Your Efforts to #StopGrading

It was fortunate that the moment I decided to stop grading, my assistant principal was sitting right next to me listening to Alfie Kohn make his case against grades in a conference presentation at NCTE in Boston in November of … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, blog series, collaboration, colleagues, fall 2016 blog series, grading, making change, not grading, the system | Leave a comment

Step Two: Design a classroom experience to keep your students working without points #StopGrading

Will students still do the work you assign if you don’t give them points for it? Yes–especially if the work is valuable to them. In the previous post in this series, I outlined what I thought it should mean for … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, blog series, CCSS, fall 2016 blog series, grading, making change, not grading, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

Step One: What’s in a Grade? #StopGrading

For the purposes of keeping this post laser focused, I’m going to briefly describe a few things about how I’ve been going about grading for the last five semesters. I’m planning later posts on these things, but for now here’s … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, assessment, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, grading, making change, not grading, planning | 2 Comments

The English Teacher’s Holy Grail: #StopGrading

Several years ago, one of my students–a junior–ended up with an 89.4% in my class for his second semester grade. He asked me to round up his grade. I explained to him that had he chosen to complete the optional … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, grading, making change, not grading | 21 Comments