Category Archives: making change

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 | 8 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

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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

I asked my students, and here’s what they said worked and didn’t work in my classroom last year

Every spring, I survey my students somehow about their experience in my class so I can work to improve for the following year. This year and last year I landed on a format for this survey that has yielded some … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, CCSS, grading, making change, not grading, planning, reflections, student feedback, using data, workshop teaching, writer's notebooks | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I’m moving to Google Classroom from Schoology

Seems I’m on the hunt for the perfect online home for my classroom. Last summer I wrote with great excitement about my move to Schoology from a Google Site as the home base for my classroom. I had been using … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, making change, muddling through, technology | 5 Comments