Have you ever wondered how to calculate participation into a student's grade? Carolyn Ives for FacultyFocus.com shares different ways teachers can grade and assess students by incorporating their levels of participation. Ives gives a brief overview, but also includes 3 great references for additional reading. I like how the article recommends a personal inventory, to see how a teacher's relationship affects participation levels.
The Essentials in Writing YouTube channel explains how to successfully use a rubric to grade work by middle school and high school students. Sometimes working with a rubric can be tricky, especially because no two essays are like, so this video really clears things up. I like the explanation of how to write constructive feedback based on the results of the rubric.
Terry Heick, founder of TeachThought, gives 12 alternatives to traditional letter grades. He discusses how he thinks the letter grade fails students, and makes the case to explore other types of evaluation. Heick presents a wide, diverse spectrum here, ranging from gamification to all-out pass/fail. After reading the article, I can say I’m definitely more open-minded when it comes to grading!
Andrew Harrison’s 6-minute video presents an example where half of a dozen students fail a test. He shows the old way of curving, and then simplifies that process in a shorter, more accurate way to achieve the curve. I really like how Harrison explains the most important aspect is not the curve itself, but rather, the teacher using this experience to look why so many students did poorly.
Thomas R. Guskey writes this article for ASCD, in which he discusses what is currently agreed with across the board in terms of grading. He also breaks down the three types of learning criteria, practical guidelines, and a retrospective peek at over 100 years of grading practices. I really liked the inclusion of references at the end, because it’s a long list with a lot of great titles.
Heather Wolpert-Gawron’s Edutopia article gives a dozen (yes, a dozen!) different tips, including grading a parts of a project separately, to providing a clear rubric from the start. Wolpert-Gawron really opens up lines of communication in #12, where she says you should ask students what does and doesn’t work with your feedback. I really the variety of approaches here
Leah Alcala, a 7th and 8th grade Math teacher from California, shares the new way she’s been grading her students’ work—with a highlighter! She doesn’t put grades on tests, and her feedback is in the form of highlighted work. Of course students learn their grades the following day, but this approach is actually part of a larger, constructive exercise by putting learning first and grading second. I love her idea of reframing how students view their work!
James D. Allen of TCNJ address the “complicated and sometimes controversial issue” of grade assignment in this paper. He discusses confusion about the purpose of grading, miscommunication between teacher and student, and the lack of professional training in the task of grading itself. I was most interested in the last point, because many teachers don’t engage in complex grading until they have a classroom of their own.