Day 87 (of 186) giving grades…..giving consequences…. tying the two together thanks to a share by @pernilleripp

Day 87 (of 186) giving grades…..giving consequences…. tying the two together thanks to a share by @pernilleripp

Talked with a student about an assignment and assessment. She shared how her class is using a 1-4 system connected to descriptors…but….(and here I pause as I did then) the teacher doesn’t give 4s……yet.

Teacher. Gives. 4s. So…they learn that it’s not what they do that matters as how the teacher interprets it. Hard lesson to unlearn….I even remember a Russian history professor talking about his youth where his professor used a 5 mark system, but…he said: 5 is for god, 4 is for me. You can use the other numbers….it may not matter what you do – the numbers you will receive are predetermined…..? Is it because there needs to be a Grade/# to chase over the year? Or is top work……top work? Are there only a limited number of 4s? There seems to be an unlimited 1 2 and 3s….. but this reinforces the sentiment that many students have – things are given/done to me because of who they are, not because of what they did……unless it’s a consequence then what they did is closely looked at…..even if it’s a distraction ……And when I asked the student if they asked what they could do to get a 4, they shyly looked away and said it wasn’t worth it…

And this connected to an article shared today by the fabulous @pernilleripp https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/ed/18/01/troublemakers it may be easier to have consequnces set up as a logarithmic if-then statement, but life is rarely that easy – I remember once being uncomfortable with the scenario that’s 3 kids are got with drugs – each kid has a different consequence; but I was younger and inexperienced then – now it makes perfect sense that each consequence would be different.

Kids struggle in school when the focus is on the “what” – esp when what you did/do defines you early. Ownership matters – everyone does “better” when things are done “with you” rather than “to” you.

There’s a reason why a key part of AFL (assessment for Learning) is “clearly defined Learning outcomes” – often the “why” is more important than the what or how – and the how can be even more personalized or differentiated…

Ownership and understanding why is key to students “buying in” to authentically learn rather than simply being compliant. Sometimes the quiet one staring at you is less engaged than the student staring out the window – but we don’t know until we check in with them.

When providing feedback, what are you “giving”? A number? Descriptive feedback? Another indication of what a learner can’t do? On tv teachers can yell “the bell doesn’t dismiss you, I dismiss you”…….but are they talking about the time….or the students role in descriptive feedback loops – the ‘why’ they couldn’t get a 4….because no where does it say that that calendar will limit what levels of students can achieve – hmmm unless maybe after no-shave November we can institute no-fails February or Just-descriptive-feedback-June….I might change my mind on this blog……

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About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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