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Grades & HW

Links to my blogs on grading and homework.

Do Grades Help or Hinder Learning? Here’s where it all started for me. In March of 2010 I considered for the first time in my 19 year teaching career to change my grading policy freeing myself of the shackles of 20th century, factory-model, reward-and-punish sorting that is traditional grading.

A Change in Grading Policy – This was a follow-up to Do Grades Help or Hinder Learning? I wrote this as an explanation to families to prepare them for what I was planning to do for the last trimester of that school year. It was met very well and continues to be a positive change for my students.

Reflections of 2009-10 – Was where I reflected on all the changes I made that third trimester where I went gradeless for the first time.

How to Motivate Students is a good one to put here because it’s a question often brought by educators who are considering going gradeless and homeworkless. If I don’t grade and if I don’t give homework, how will my students be motivated to do any work? In short, give them meaningful, relevant work and don’t underestimate your students!

Student Engagement – Lessons learned about engaging middle school students.

Lessons I’ve Learned from my Students’ Blogs – This blog includes some thoughts on how homework messes with kids.

Why Grade to Assess? A guest blog post I wrote after some conversations on Twitter with a fellow educator.

Grading Moratorium – Read how and why these educators have chosen to go gradeless. (This link is not to one of my blog posts but one of the links on that page leads to my write-up for the moratorium.)

Class Syllabi & Intro Letters

Awards, Grades, and Competition – Good stuff on topics we’re all so used to that we rarely ever question them. This blog led to this discussion at my school. And from that survey these results. And here is an example assembly my advisory hosted without any awards!

Blogs as Electronic Portfolios – An alternative assessment method.

Giving Feedback – This is what students need. Feedback. Not a letter, number, percentage, mark, star, check or candy. And here’s a more recent update, Grades and Feedback.

My Concerns as an Educator – Kind of a follow-up on How to Motivate Students.

Here’s an example of my homework policy before I joined Twitter (even then I was struggling with homework because it never worked): Homework Explanation

My Readings – Great links to information on grading and homework.

Dan Pink on Motivation – A must see for anyone working with children (or adults).

Why Collaborate? – Probing us to see the importance of teachers working in teams.

Real Life – Great videos when feeling guilty about providing our students “real life” experiences. (Mainly about motivation and competition.)

When is Extrinsic Motivation Okay? My further thoughts on using extrinsic motivation when having none doesn’t seem to work. I’m thinking that neither extreme is the answer.

Looking for Ideas – A post I wrote looking for ideas on having me talk less (not stop talking or lecturing entirely, just less) so that my students can learn more.

Beginning of Year – My reflections on how I started the 2012-13 school year.

The Homework Dilemma – My thoughts on Homework (against it really).

HW and Trust – The homework discussion from the point of view of trusting parents.

Why Go Gradeless? – Why grades do more harm than good from a student’s perspective.

More Reasons to Go Gradeless – A teacher writes why using grades for anything but measurement doesn’t work.

Awesome Webinar on Feedback – Twitter chat on feedback. Feedback, IMHO, is superior to grades. Much more effective at helping students.

More Direct Instruction – Post about finding the balance between talking/teaching too much vs not enough.

Behavior Self-Assessment – Follow-up post to the direct instruction post showing how students assessed their own behavior.

Help Following Directions - How can we help students follow directions better?

Relationships or Taskmaster – Finding the balance between building relationships with kids vs holding them accountable.

PBIS & Acknowledging Students – More thoughts on rewards.


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    Very useful links for education specially for those aspiring learner’s. Thanks for the good share. It help different teachers to have wonderful guide about making well on their education programs.