What's the best way to ensure that grading policies are fair, accurate, and consistent across classrooms? How can schools transition to a grading system that better reflects what students are actually learning? Tim R. Westerberg makes this journey easier by offering a continuum of options, with four "destinations" on the road to improved grading and assessment. Destination 1 critically examines such popular grading mechanisms as the zero, extra credit, the "semester killer" project, averaging, mixing academic performance with work ethic, and refusing to accept late work, and explains how they undermine objectivity and instead result in widely divergent grades for comparable work--with major consequences for students. Destination 2 invites educators to put assessment and grading into the larger context of a districtwide guaranteed and viable curriculum and lays out the organizational conditions and necessary steps to accomplish this goal. Destination 3 brings parents and others on board with a multiyear implementation plan and community engagement strategies for introducing report cards that indicate student achievement by standards rather than--or in addition to--letter grades. Destination 4, competency-based education, involves a total rethinking of the nature and structure of school, leading to individualized education for all students. However far they choose to go, administrators and teacher leaders can turn to Charting a Course to Standards-Based Grading for the quick wins and long-term support and guidance they need to make the trip well worth the effort.
How to build productive relationships in math education I wasn’t taught this way. I can’t help my child! These are common refrains from today’s parents and guardians, who are often overwhelmed, confused, worried, and frustrated about how to best support their children with what they see as the "new math." The problem has been compounded by the shift to more distance learning in response to a global pandemic. Partnering With Parents in Elementary School Math provides educators with long overdue guidance on how to productively partner and communicate with families about their children’s mathematics learning. It includes reproducible surveys, letters, and planning documents that can be used to improve the home-school relationship, which in turn helps students, parents, teachers, and education leaders alike. Readers will find guidance on how to: · Understand and empathize with what fuels parents’ anxieties and concerns · Align as a school and set parents’ expectations about what math instruction their children will experience and how it will help them · Communicate clearly and productively with parents about their students’ progress, strengths, and needs in math · Run informative and fun family events · support homework · Coach parents to portray a productive disposition about math in front of their children Educators, families, and students are best served when proactive, productive, and healthy relationships have been developed with each other and with the realities of today′s math education. This guide shows how these relationships can be built.
Grading is one of the most hotly debated topics in education, and grading practices themselves are largely based on tradition, instinct, or personal history or philosophy. But to be effective, grading policies and practices must be based on trustworthy research evidence. Enter this book: a review of 100-plus years of grading research that presents the broadest and most comprehensive summary of research on grading and reporting available to date, with clear takeaways for learning and teaching. Edited by Thomas R. Guskey and Susan M. Brookhart, this indispensable guide features thoughtful, thorough dives into the research from a distinguished team of scholars, geared to a broad range of stakeholders, including teachers, school leaders, policymakers, and researchers. Each chapter addresses a different area of grading research and describes how the major findings in that area might be leveraged to improve grading policy and practice. Ultimately, Guskey and Brookhart identify four themes emerging from the research that can guide these efforts: - Start with clear learning goals, - Focus on the feedback function of grades, - Limit the number of grade categories, and - Provide multiple grades that reflect product, process, and progress criteria. By distilling the vast body of research evidence into meaningful, actionable findings and strategies, this book is the jump-start all stakeholders need to build a better understanding of what works—and where to go from here.
Grades are imperfect, shorthand answers to “What did students learn, and how well?” In How to Use Grading to Improve Learning, best-selling author Susan M. Brookhart guides educators at all levels in figuring out how to produce grades—for single assignments and report cards—that accurately communicate students’ achievement of learning goals. Brookhart explores topics that are fundamental to effective grading and learning practices: • Acknowledging that all students can learn • Supporting and motivating student effort and learning • Designing and grading appropriate assessments • Creating policies for report card grading • Implementing learning-focused grading policies • Communicating with students and parents • Assessing school or district readiness for grading reform The book is grounded in research and resonates with the real lessons learned in the classroom. Although grading is a necessary part of schooling, Brookhart reminds us that children are sent to school to learn, not to get grades. This highly practical book will help you put grading and learning into proper perspective, offering strategies you can use right away to ensure that your grading practices actually support student learning.
What if teachers could dramatically reduce the amount of time they spend reviewing and correcting student work and actually see better results in terms of student learning? That’s the goal of Glen Pearsall, who shares dozens of classroom-tested strategies that lessen teachers’ workload while increasing students’ class participation and improving their understanding. Readers will learn how to • Refine their classroom questioning techniques to continually check students’ progress and provide instant feedback; • Encourage students to internalize learning goals so they better understand what is expected of them; • Use fast, formative assessment strategies to check and correct during class time; • Modify traditional summative-testing strategies to monitor student progress in a formative way; • Speed up the correction process via student self-proofing, representative sampling, and helpful technology tools; and • Engage students in becoming actively involved in assessing their own work. Drawing from his own experience as a teacher and coach, Pearsall offers practical, real-world advice in the form of techniques that are both effective and sustainable in the everyday classroom. The result is smarter assessment—for both teachers and students.
Assessment is an essential part of teaching and learning, but too often it leads to misleading conclusions—sometimes with dire consequences for students. How can educators improve assessment practices so that the results are accurate, meaningful, informative, and fair? Educator and best-selling author Myron Dueck draws from his firsthand experience and his work with districts around the world to provide a simple but profound answer: put student voice and choice at the center of the process. In this engaging and well-researched book, Dueck reveals troubling issues related to traditional approaches and offers numerous examples of educators at all levels who are transforming assessment by using tools and methods that engage and empower students. He also shares surprising revelations about the nature of memory and learning that speak to the need for rethinking how we measure student understanding and achievement. Readers will find sound advice and detailed guidance on how to * Share and cocreate precise learning targets, * Develop student-friendly rubrics linked to standards, * Involve students in ongoing assessment procedures, * Replace flawed grading systems with ones that better reflect what students know and can do, and * Design structures for students' self-reporting on their progress in learning. Inspired by the origins of the word assessment—derived from the Latin for "to sit beside"—Dueck urges educators to discard old habits and instead work with students as partners in assessment. For those who do, the effort is rewarding and the benefits are significant
Many educators agree that the 100-point grading model is not always a reliable way to evaluate student learning. But is there another way to more accurately and equitably grade students and provide high-quality information to parents while fostering student learning? If so, why haven’t school districts across the country changed their practices? In Changing the Grade, author and educator Jonathan Cornue presents a detailed model for developing a more reliable, standards-based grading system—including 30 steps to guide you through the process. In addition to identifying and addressing the barriers to change—such as concerns about how colleges and employers will interpret an alternative grading model—Cornue offers a concrete structure for changing the grading system, providing guidance on: • Thinking in a new way about why grades are given and the purpose of a report card grade; • Identifying what needs to be changed and what actions must be taken to facilitate the change; • Building a team of stakeholders—including teachers, principals, and guidance counselors—to lead the change process; • Developing the new standards-based grading structure; • Designing standards-based assignments and assessments that align with a new grading structure; • Avoiding grade inflation; and • Getting buy-in from teachers and other staff members, principals, administrators, the board of education, and the community by demonstrating that the change process is intentional, research-based, student-focused, and permanent. The book also includes helpful samples of standards-based gradebooks, homework assignments, rubrics, and report cards. If you are interested in making a systemic and systematic shift to a high-quality grading structure that is far less subjective than many commonly found in schools, consider Changing the Grade.
Implement standards-based grading practices that help students succeed! Classroom assessment methods should help students develop to their full potential, but meshing traditional grading practices with students’ achievement on standards has been difficult. Making lasting changes to grading practices requires both knowledge and willpower. Discover eight guidelines for good grading, recommendations for practical applications, and suggestions for implementing new grading practices as well as: ? The why’s and the how-to’s of implementing standards-based grading practices ? Tips from 48 nationally and internationally known authors and consultants ? Additional information on utilizing level scores rather than percentages ? Reflective exercises ? Techniques for managing grading more efficiently
It’s time to move our assessment practices from the 1950s to the century we’re living in. It’s time to invest in our teachers and local school leaders instead of in more tests. It’s time to help all students understand how to unleash their strengths and gain a sense of themselves as learners capable of choosing their own paths to success. In The Perfect Assessment System, Rick Stiggins calls for the ground-up redevelopment of assessment in U.S. education. Speaking from more than 40 years of experience in the field—and speaking for all learners who hope to succeed, the teachers who want them to succeed, and the local school leaders whose aspirations for success have been thwarted by assessment traditions—Stiggins maps out the adjustments in practice and culture necessary to generate both accurate accountability data and the specific evidence of individual mastery that will support sound instructional decision making and better learning in the classroom. He addresses ▪ Assessment purpose—how (and why) to clarify the reason for every assessment and the users it will serve. ▪ Learning targets to be assessed—how to make sure we focus on the right competencies and set consistent definitions of success. ▪ Assessment quality—how to ensure every assessment, at every level, is an excellent one. ▪ Communication of assessment results—how to share information in ways that best support diverse purposes. ▪ Assessment impact—how to link assessment to truly productive, universal student motivation. We have not yet begun to explore assessment’s true potential to enhance both school quality and student well-being. Stiggins kicks off this critical conversation and charts a course for a new system that promises much higher levels of student success at a fraction of our current testing costs. The door is open for assessment reform; here is a bold plan for getting it right.
This book examines the history of formative assessment in the US and explores its potential for changing the landscape of teaching and learning to meet the needs of twenty-first century learners. The author uses case studies to illuminate the complexity of teaching and the externally imposed and internally constructed contextual elements that affect assessment decision-making. In this book, Box argues effectively for a renewed vision for teacher professional development that centers around the needs of students in a knowledge economy. Finally, Box offers an overview of systemic changes that are needed in order for progressive teaching and relevant learning to take place.
Accurately report students’ academic strengths and weaknesses with standards-based grading. Rather than using traditional systems that incorporate nonacademic factors such as attendance and behavior, learn to assess and report student performance based on prioritized standards. You will discover reliable, practical methods for analyzing what students have learned and gain effective strategies for offering students feedback on their progress.