Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Tidbit of Success

In the first quarter of the school year, many teachers don't have a lot of grades. When you're "going gradeless," or not putting points or marks to be averaged in the grade book as I am, it's even fewer. Going into our sixth week, we currently have six assignments that have narrative feedback attached.

The "Article of the Week" actually already has three pieces of feedback embedded in the one assignment. I change the date on that one and move it up to the top when we have a new one to add.

I've got 7th graders, and first quarter for them is all rainbows and unicorns when they're not getting points or marks averaged.  In fact, I saw this on a locker the other day and thought, "Yup. That's where we are right now."
Time will come soon enough when I sit 1:1 with each student to look at their evidence and put it all into one little letter. So far, however, there has been no mention of grades. No extra credit, no late penalties... we've just been working at learning how to be better readers, writers, and grammarians.

Here's the tidbit I need to share that I heard from a student when we they went into the feedback they had for their article of the week...

"It worked! The feedback you gave worked, and I did better this time!"

THIS is why I put myself through the extra work of adding "next steps" to each student's personalized feedback.

That's really all I wanted to share today. Thanks to Jimmy Casas's latest post about blogging.  "Write like you talk. Start writing. Write for you." Tag - you're it! Time for YOU to share another story!

My "gradeless" resources so far: "FaR" tabs of our classroom Weebly
                                    Feedback Instead of Grades LiveBinder for parents to inspect
                                    My own reflections on this journey

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