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, October 7, 2018

SBG Committee Meets!

This week, before I headed out to our district office to be in the "Middle School Standards-Based Grading Steering Committee," I found post-its on my desk at home. Post-its from our class discussion on August 31 this year.

I hadn't taken the time to read them, so I'm going to post them here to see if there's something new I can discover.

In the "positive" column...
  • hardwork, persistavitivity (sic)
  • I try my hardest to keep them all A's!
  • A+, school, doing my best, working hard
  • A+ the best grade, 100%, 10/10
  • A's and B's, 4.0, GPA
  • Getting As and 4.0 GPA
  • I like to get grades can se it shows your progress (sic)
  • Are very important
  • letters / numbers
  • They may be important.
  • important
  • letters, important
  • more import things

In the "neutral" column...
  • homework
  • important, work hard, do good, meaningful, try your best
  • A+, subjects, stressful, prepared, honor students, quiz, worried, tests, study
  • low? high? good? bad?
  • school, classes, teachers, parents
  • parents, school, A
  • A, B, C, D, E, F, Ma, Pr, De, Be, Work
  • Grading policy, As, Bs, Cs, Ds, Fs, parents, school
  • GPA, school, homework, stress, tests
  • hard to get
  • school, academics, my classes, my teachers
  • How your doing in school (sic)
  • importun and useful, can help U (sic)
  • important, harsh, good, GPA, Pennstate (sic)
  • good, four point o
  • They make you anscious, some people care and people don't care about them. (sic)
  • Important, Good grades, you have to work hard
  • try to keep them high I think trying is more important
  • Grades are what you get in school, they can be bad or good, A, B, C, D, F
  • I care about my grades, but I also believe you are not a letter or #. You do not define what your grade is.
  • Powerschool, A, B, C, D, F ("F" is circled, with a check mark and smiley face by it)
  • Good and badd (sic)
  • grades are something that are different.
  • important, something you work for, assignments/tests
  • A, B (good), C, +, - (average) F, D (Bad)
  • Something that measures your academic ability, but it also defines you with a letter.
  • classes
  • A+, B, C, D, F
  • hard work, should be good

In the "negative" column...
  • Worrying about grades
  • There ok I don't stress about them too much but when I do its not good (sic)
  • As Bs Cs Ds, I hope I don't get any bad grades
  • Intence, scary, change (sic)
  • I think they're kinda stupid. I'm getting graded on stuff I don't really like and people kinda treat them like they're this super important thing.
  • Burn it!!
  • stressful (x 2 post its)
  • F (see pic)
  • G3 = Get Good Grades
  • A-F, A=good, F=you're a failure
  • Stress, anxiety
  • Wait, what are my grades like? When will this grade come in? Do these people all have better grades than me?
  • Pressure, stress, homework
  • Something that shows you what understanding your in like a scale. But also can make you feel very sad & happy. (sic)
  • I don't like them when they are lower than an A-. They are good when you work hard.
  • 6th grade report card / PowerSchool. Meh.

I love this.
I remember these feelings. The successes and the fears.
Their quick thoughts / writing brings me back to when grades mattered to me, personally.

And this is the reason I wanted to be on the Standards-Based Grading committee for our district. The elementary one is finished, and they'll have their first standards-based reports coming out in this fall.

We had our first half-day meeting this week, and I had a difficult time not throwing my two cents in after every person spoke. We chatted about how we felt about it, what it was, read some research (how reliable was it?), and came away with this book we'll be studying:

I'm excited for this next part of my journey in this profession!

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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