Reflection: Qualitative Evaluations Rounding - Unit Assessment - Section 2: Assessment


In the belief that it was the most conscientious thing to do, I spent my early years of teaching grading everything, and I'm not exaggerating.  Not only did I grade tests, quizzes and writing assignments, I also graded classwork and homework.  I had grades in every subject in every day.  I thought that was what  responsible teacher needed to do.  I've changed my practice significantly, and it's not because I've become lazy.  I work as hard now as I did when I first began, but I work more efficiently. First, I discovered that a student's grade almost never changed if I graded 8 or 35 assignments.  Secondly, I realized, as we all do, that grading is not teaching!  Truly, the only point of assessments and whatever grading system one uses is to communicate to the child, the family, and to inform yourself about their mastery of given content over the course of time.  This is as tough for students and parents to assimilate as it was for me.  An "A" (though this is our first year away from grades, now they receive 1-5) was seen as SUPERIOR regardless of the subjective criteria or the student or parent's own different sense of mastery or lack there of.  I work very hard now to keep meaningful notes on student progress that allow me to plan differentiated instruction and to communicate with the student and their family/caregiver about their progress.  The record sheet I use for this lesson is one example of informal record keeping.  I write a fraction in the first column to show total mastery (the figure that would have been used to calculate a grade in the past) because it is one frame of reference.  At a glance, I know that a child who correctly answers 18/20 questions is in a very different place than a child who answers 5/20.  The additional columns allow room for me to take notes, or even just make a mark for myself (sometimes I just use a smiley face, check plus, check, check minus or a zero w/a line through it) on more specific aspects of their performance on this mid-unit assessment.  I use this record as something to jog my memory when talking with students or parents, or when planning revisions to my lessons, which are constantly changing, as no two classes are ever the same!

  Record Keeping
  Qualitative Evaluations: Record Keeping
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Rounding - Unit Assessment

Unit 7: Rounding
Lesson 7 of 7

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate practical skills and critical thinking that reflects their growing understanding of how to round to the closest ten and hundred, and why.

Big Idea: Careful monitoring of student progress helps refine instruction.

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