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Price of Possibility: Project 180, Day 102

Morning, all. Slept in a bit. Darn Wednesday mornings seem to get me. Had the teacher panel for my college kids last night in my classroom at the high school, where we were graced with the presence of some rockstar teachers: Shannon Root, Marin Hatcher, Jenna Tamura, Maddie Alderete, Sherry Syrie, Hannah Comi, Sara Leonetti, and Steve Arensmeyer. Thank you, all, for sharing your wisdom with the next generation of educators. You all rock.

Back to 180. Recently, I shared that some (three)  kids had opted to return to a traditional-grading approach at semester. My critic, “An Observer,” who unfortunately mistook my explanation as the kids grading themselves, blasted the approach, commenting that of course they would give themselves an “A.” So, in an effort to clear up that misconception and share the particulars of the approach with those who are genuinely interested, I am going to take a few moments to explain what grading will look like for my three who chose tradition.

Actually, the explanation is quite simple. It really is just a return to the familiar, to tradition. There is now a point value assigned to the practice tasks and assessments that the kids do. Over the semester, they will amass a number of points earned and that against the total points possible will determine their percentage grade at the end. In my earlier explanation, I had mentioned a personalized grade sheet for each kid. This is simply a necessity, for I can only manipulate Skyward (our online grade book) so much, so I had to create a “grade book” for each kid. The image above is the current manifestation of that.

I created a table in Google Docs, and then I shared an individualized copy with each respective kid. As such, we have shared access to the grade book, and we can keep track of it together.  For one of the kids, whose mom is a colleague, I was able to share the document with her as well, giving all three of us access. Additionally, on my end, I keep the official record in my hardcopy grade book that I keep for all my students. The only difference being, for my three traditional kids, I enter points. The kids, regardless the grading approach, do all the same work. Yes, it’s a bit more work, and though my colleague repeatedly apologizes that I have to do that for her son, it’s the price of possibility. It bothers me not. On some strange level, I find it energizing actually. Doing what I can to provide the best experience for kids never feels like work. Never.

Happy Wednesday, all.

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