Seems like on most days when I hit social media, I’m bombarded by the same chatter—grades are “meaningless,” “don’t measure learning,” and “are corruptive.” And the comments don’t stop there. There’s negative chatter about all forms of grading practices, including standards-based grading. While I agree that outdated and ineffective grading practices like using a 101 … Continue reading The Case for Standards-Based Grading
I have a thing about tests. I understand that tests are one form of summative assessment for skills or content, I just don’t think it should be the only way. I also think teachers shouldn’t use them under the pretext that teaching "test-taking" is some kind of real world life skill that must be bolstered. … Continue reading Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…
I need to come clean with all of you. I’m embarrassed and somewhat ashamed about what I have to reveal. Please refrain from chastising me or rolling your eyes. I hope that you will not think less of me because of this information which I am about to bestow upon you. Okay, here it goes… … Continue reading Learning isn’t a privilege, it’s a right
***Updated with a video link at the bottom*** Since I began working with my Secondary Assessment Learning Team (SALT) at my school, I've attempted to tackle numerous projects, but none has been more significant and problematic than my grade book. Since going officially gradeless (feedback only with students, no levels, no points, no scores, no … Continue reading What story does your grade book tell?
For the first month of quarter one, I saw approximately 50% of my English 8 students. No joke. I’d take attendance and hit an equal number of Absent as I did Present into Myed. After putting my heart and soul into planning a quarter and being stoked to be back in the classroom face to … Continue reading Popcorn attendance, learning opportunities, and mulligans: musings about teaching in a quarter system
Recently, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences raised eyebrows for implementing new diversity rules that insist that in order to be eligible for an Oscar, films need to meet inclusion standards both on camera and behind the scenes. Their point is to increase the representation of underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, LGBTQ persons, … Continue reading Presume Competence
Quarters. Copernican. Ten weeks. These are the words many high school teachers across British Columbia have heard in the last few weeks instilling intrigue, fear, and anxiousness for the new school year. Sure, it’s the same number of teaching minutes, but it’s not so easy to just double the lessons and call it a day. … Continue reading Backwards design to survive our quarter course reality
It seems like every other day, I am asked how I can reconcile myself to the fact that I still have to give grades at report card time and run a gradeless classroom. It’s a complex question and there’s an equally complex answer. Let me first make a comment…gradeless is amazing! It’s the single most … Continue reading What does a B mean anyways?
There is a solo project I do with my Drama students. I have them pretend they are a small child trying to fly a kite on a windless day. I tell the actors that despite all odds, their character should never give up. Here is what the actors show me. At first, the child is … Continue reading Let’s Go Fly a Kite
Click on the picture to check out my article in BC Teacher Magazine.