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We Did It Our Way: Project 180, Day 77



It’s that time. Time for grades. Time for us to try to put a finger on learning. Of course, on some level, I believe to truly do that for each kid is beyond any imaginable grading approach. Learning does not readily fit into a cell on a spreadsheet. But the system says we must, so we will comply. But we will comply in our own way. We will push the edges and stretch the boundaries in a manner that best fits our classroom culture. As such, we do not claim to have discovered the best way to grade kids. To be sure, we have only discovered the best way to grade our kids. A best that is simply in wait of a “next better.”

That said, I am not sharing our policies as a “replicate-this-and-you-too-will-have-a-more-effective-grading-policy.” I am sharing our policies to encourage others to push the boundaries within their own systems, to find a way that best fits them and their kids, especially–especially–those who, too, are unsettled and dissatisfied with traditional grading practices. But, I believe there’s room here, also, for those who are already in the gradeless realm. As many of us know, there exists neither one nor “right” way to be gradeless. I have discovered as I have made contact with numerous others here in the gradeless realm that there are many varieties of gradelessness. And though I think some come here to be handed “the way,” they will not find it. But what they will find are several who have sought better ways to put their own fingers on what learning is in their own classroom cultures, several who are willing to share their practices and policies to help swing the pendulum away from toxic, traditional grading practices. And that is why I am sharing this today. I am simply sharing our latest attempt to create and utilize a grading policy that ensures a more healthy practice within the culture of our classrooms.

Thank you Jenna Tamura and Madeline Alderete for doing the hard, constant work with me to find our way, to find our next better. Couldn’t do it without you.

Below is what we will share with our kids today as we prepare for our grading conferences next week. I will share more specifics in the coming days.

Today’s Trail

Along today’s trail we will…

...begin with Smiles and Frowns.

…discuss and begin preparing for grading conferences.

…reflect in our Journey Journals.

…end with a Sappy Sy Rhyme.

Happy Wednesday, all.

Do. Reflect. Do Better.



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