The debate on grading is going strong in the education realm. Throwing out Grades or #TTOG is a very popular topic on twitter. Check it out here.
I received ” Rethinking Letter Grades: A Five-Step Approach for Aligning Letter Grades to Learning Standards” by Caren Cameron and Kathleen Gregory in the mail and I was so excited to start reading.
I assumed that this book would be about why letter grades are outdated and further the debate to not have letter grading. It definitely does discuss these negative aspects but it addresses the point that letter grading is what we as teachers have to do. The book gives us theFive-Step Process which helps us choose these grade in a more structured and transparent way.
The Five-Step Process of grading that this book discusses really goes beyond and above. It gets you to choose 3-5 big-ideas, make a statement about what you need to see from students to receive a specific mark for that big idea and shows you how to link student conversations, student products and teacher observations to each big idea to show their learning.
My Key Learnings in this book:
- Teachers need to trust their professional judgement more.
- We need to be collecting multiple sources of information ie: different products, teacher observations, and conversations with the student
- Make learning objectives clear to students and parents
- Grading and planning should be done together with teachers that are teaching the same grade and subjects
Things NOT to do with grades:
- Stop docking marks for being late
- Only assess one product of work the student has completed. It doesn’t give you a sense of what they actually know.
- Participation and effort are hard to measure and should never be placed in with marks.
I definitely recommend this book to read and discuss with your colleagues. I’m excited to implement this grading process into my classroom next year! Please let mw know what you think in the comments. If you would like to buy this book, click the link here.
*Discloser – I received this book for free from the publishers but as always my opinions are my own.