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Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices

Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices
My Edutopia post When Grading Harms Student Learning generated a lot of buzz. Grading is an emotional subject, with strong-held opinions and ideas. I was really excited to see discussion on all sides of the issue. The best feedback for me was that, while many readers agreed with parts of the premise, I hadn't been specific on support strategies. Thank you for that feedback -- it was specific, actionable, and created the need and excitement for a follow-up post. While there are many tools out there that help address concerns around redoes, zeroes, not grading homework, and more, here are some of my favorites: Address Behavioral Issues Affecting Academic Achievement Points off for late work may not motivate students. Request to Retest This is a great way to put the student in the driver’s seat of what they'll redo and how they'll redo it. Redo Parts of an Assessment Some assessments that we give students have very clear categories. Reflect on Assessments Were you prepared for this test?

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What’s Going on Inside the Brain Of A Curious Child? By Maanvi Singh, NPR How does a sunset work? We love to look at them, but Jolanda Blackwell wanted her 8th graders to really think about them, to wonder and question. So Blackwell, who teaches science at Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High in Davis, Calif., had her students watch a video of a sunset on YouTube as part of a physics lesson on motion. “I asked them: ‘So what’s moving? I Had No Idea 'She Sells Seashells By The Seashore' Actually Meant THIS! Fascinating... Can you say “She sells seashells by the seashore” five times fast? It’s tricky! And if you’re like most people, you’ve been twisting your tongue over that one for years. In fact, people have been trying to say it without stumbling for 108 years. But did you know it actually goes back even further than that?

How to Use Anchor Charts in Your Classroom You see them all over Pinterest. You see them all over our WeAreTeachers Facebook page. You might even see them in the classroom next door. The Perfect Book for Every Type of Reluctant Reader I See in Middle School I love reluctant readers. Finding the right book for them is like waiting for the long, skinny brick in a game of Tetris when you have the perfect spot for it and then BOOM!!! You did it!! (Does anyone know what I’m talking about?) Anyway, you won’t be able to turn all your students into the type of readers who read so much they forget to eat, but with some work, you can find a book that even your students who are staunchly opposed to reading will want to pick up. Here are my go-tos for the main types of reluctant readers I encounter.

The Teacher Curse No One Wants to Talk About Knowledge is a curse. Knowing things isn't bad itself, but it causes unhealthy assumptions -- such as forgetting how hard it was to learn those things in the first place. It's called the Curse of Knowledge. In this post, we'll identify how the Curse of Knowledge affects educators. Teaching Strategy: Socratic Seminar The goal of a Socratic seminar is for students to help one another understand the ideas, issues, and values reflected in a specific text. Students are responsible for facilitating a discussion around ideas in the text rather than asserting opinions. Through a process of listening, making meaning, and finding common ground students work toward shared understanding rather than trying to prove a particular argument.

What Makes a Genius? This story appears in the May 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine. The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia houses an array of singular medical specimens. On the lower level the fused livers of 19th-century conjoined twins Chang and Eng float in a glass vessel. Nearby, visitors can gawk at hands swollen with gout, the bladder stones of Chief Justice John Marshall, the cancerous tumor extracted from President Grover Cleveland’s jaw, and a thighbone from a Civil War soldier with the wounding bullet still in place. When We Listen to Students As you are beginning to think about returning to school, I have a suggestion that can drastically impact your year (and it's simple): brainstorm questions to ask your students. The kids right in front of us often have the most useful information within them -- information that can help us reach and teach them, help us engage them, and that can help us have a fantastic year together. What to Ask? Here are several of my favorite questions to ask kids of all ages: What would be the most useful thing for me to know about you as a student?

From preschool through high school: 24 great books that show empathy, kindness “When you read these books aloud, you can tell from their expressions that they are empathetic in relating to these characters. They understand what the characters are feeling,” says Sharon Rawlins, youth services specialist at the New Jersey State Library and president of the Collaborative Summer Library Program. [Want to teach your kids about empathy and compassion? Read aloud.] Top 5 Ways to Get to Know Your Students Here are several great ways to build connections with and among your new students! These icebreakers and community-building activities double as assessment opportunities, skill-building lessons, or projects that result in a unique, inspiring classroom decoration. Getting Acquainted: Create a Class Slideshow On the first day of school, I begin by reading Miss Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room 10. We discuss the fact that teachers are "real people" and have normal lives. Next, I share a PowerPoint slideshow with my students.