In Alfie Kohn's article about grading, I found myself really liking the description of supportive assessment. I particularly liked the the second principle of supportive assessment "The best evidence we have of whether we are succeeding as educators comes from observing students behaviors." I agree that we can witness success or failure in our classrooms by observing our students.I also like the fifth principle about having student have input into the criteria upon which they will be evaluated. I have not done that but I think that that could lead to some rich conversations with students about the process of writing. I also liked the list of things a teacher should do to reduce the focus on grades. I think all teachers need to be reminded to "Never grade students while they are still learning something." The question is how do you know when they are done learning something.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Grading Paradigm shift
How to assess writing has not been a major concern for me. I certainly have never thought about it to the depth that the writers of the articles that we read this week have. Reading the articles did give me a lot to think about before I plan my next class writing activity. Reading about Christensen's grading policy was interesting. I liked the way she described her grading criteria to her students. I think her students will have a good idea of how they will be evaluated after reading the criteria. I like that Christensen outlines her philosophy of grading to her students. Students don't need to sit through the class for 3 months before they understand her grading philosophy. I see real value in being more transparent with students about how they will be graded. I like the fact that the emphasis is on the process of writing and not the ranking of students.