Showing posts from December, 2018

Grade Reform: You Can Still Hold Kids Accountable

One of the biggest pushbacks I get with Standards-Based Grading is that kids need to learn responsibility and without punitive grades from late work or missing assignments they will not be held accountable to their actions. I've talked about this topic bfore  when I explained why I don't grade everything but this the issue of how to create systems of accountability comes up all the time. I had a twitter conversation about it again last night so here are some of the things I have tried and some of the things to consider when working to hold students accountable in a standards-based classroom. Make Them Turn In Something Most of the books I have read on Grading Practices have stated that you need to collect something from every student when an assignment is due. I believe in this practice on big assignments and I find it's power lies in consistency and repetition. When it is time to turn in that assignment I ask for them all to take it out and put it on their desk,

Thoughts On Grade Reform: What Does A Grade Measure?

When it comes to grade reform, I still and probably won't ever consider myself an expert. I've read a lot of books, I've tried a lot of things, and I've been lucky enough to be able to document and discuss it all very publicly. When it comes to what is the best practice I have a few core beliefs I keep returning to: Teachers are at their best when they collaborate and share ideas. Not only can we learn from those who teach the same grade and content as us but we can learn as larger cross-curricular communities.  I don't believe grade reform is one size fits all. I believe there are some essential conversations that need to happen regarding grading practices.  One of the essential conversations I think all educators need to have more is what does a grade measure? I don't think this is a one and done conversation, I don't think that once you "reform" your practices you get to check this conversation off your to-do list and move on, I thin

EdTech: Hyperdocs in a Limited Tech Classroom

My classroom is not one-to-one and the devices I do have often have a lot of issues because they were small sets of devices that I was asked to pilot to see if they would be the best fit for busy classrooms like mine. Because of this I often have to take things like hyperdocs and find ways to make them work for limited device classrooms. Three Things I Do To Make Hyperdocs Work In A Limited Device Classroom  1. We Use Worksheets  GASP! I said that evil word that has supposedly been banned from teaching. But to be real, the easiest way to do this is to have a worksheet (yup, I still use worksheets), partner kids up, and then have them follow along on a shared device. You could use Nearpod or Peardeck (both of which are amazing tools) but if the students need to go back to the information and review it only the student logged in will get a copy of the notes they take with Nearpod or Peardeck. This where I will defend worksheets, the value of the worksheet has to do with two t