Monday, May 13, 2013

"Temporary grades"

We just had conferences and mid-quarter report cards, and the Galileo Girls are now focused on their grades again. There's relief that reassessment scores for each topic replaces the old, but they're also recognizing the flexible nature of their grade.

In this class, I haven't been giving them weekly voluntary reassessment opportunities. I've been choosing what gets reassessed when. To balance this out a bit, I've provided a voluntary opportunity for reassessment: a 5-photo project on the course topic of their choice. (See below - I took AAPT's photo contest idea and ran with it.) They even have the choice if they're going to do it at all. One student came in see me about it after school and wrapped up her questions with, "And this is just temporary help for my grade, right?"


Yes, love, it is temporary, in the same way that every assessment you've taken thus far is temporary, and every one will be, until the last one on that topic. But the point is that you're going to show me how you've improved your understanding of the topic or your ability to explain your understanding.

It's about growth and feedback and then more growth.

I have to do a better job communicating this to them. I have to help them change their outlook on what grades mean (at least in my classroom) and what those comments on assignments that are returned to them are for.

The project: