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Reflection Week 5

Grading Practices: Reflect on the grading practices of you and your lead teacher. Is all student
work graded? Is all graded work entered into the grade book? How many grades in the grade
book are enough? To grade or not to grade reflect on how you decide.

Mr. Terry grades every assignment his students do. However, this is not necessarily a
large quantity of work. Each writing assignment, question from the book, class notes, etc. are put
into the students journal which is graded at the end of each unit or chapter. Mr. Terry does not
use handouts or work sheets. He writes everything on the board, including the graphic
organizers, and these are written into the students journals. The unit projects are always
performance tasks. The large body of work (writing scripts, doing research, etc.) is monitored
and feedback s givenbut grades are an accumulation of all of these details and procedures that
make the presentation or performance good. These items are all evaluated through the student
performance project.
As I have taken over Mr. Terrys classes, I have used work sheets and printed graphic
organizers (because my goodness will some student stake their sweet time to copy them into
their journals!), but I am not quite sure what to do with these assignments that are not in the
notebook. Mr. Terry and I have discussed either making them part of a participation grade OR
creating new assignment slots in PowerPoint. His system does not change too much from year to
year, so these accommodations to my teaching style require some discussion. In an effort to
make things easier, I have been print out the work sheets and graphic organizers as a smaller
template for students to paste into their journalsmeeting the needs of Mr. Terrys grading
system.
I have created a hard copy grade book where I collect scores and work from students (to
pass back and give feedback and use as study materials later). I then meet with Mr. Terry to put
these scores into the PowerSchool gradebook, for consistency. For my own classroom, I think
that I would not grade every assignment. I like to use some worksheets as an engagement or to
collect background knowledgeand Exit Tickets to get an informal assessment. I would not
grade these in the future, but perhaps wouldnt mind including these items in the participation
scores, evaluating more for effort and practice than correct answers or proficient skills.
Free Response

At first, I was not excited to use Performance Assessments for EVERY unit assessment
on top of a unit testto evaluation student understanding. I felt that the curriculum used for the
program switched modes of presenting knowledge too much, that students needed to use just a
few key strategies and interact with them deeply. Introducing new strategies (For example a
PSA, to a Talk Show, to a Skit, to a Variety Show) changed the goal of instruction from
efficiently demonstrating knowledge and skills from the subject area, to learning a nuanced
performance medium. Mr. Terry really focuses on WHAT a PSA is and WHAT a Talk Show is.
The procedures and performance seem to be the target more than the material the students are
discussing. And I still feel this way to a certain degree, especially for my ELL class where we
have been reading the same article for 4 weeks and the poor things still are interacting with the
text superficiallyliteral thinking instead of implicit or criticalwhich I am working hard to
develop. Then next thing I know, I have to teach them what a PSA is and how to adapt their
article information for PSA parameters. Its difficult to say the least and adds to their confusion.
However, I will say that these unique mediums have inspired a lot of enthusiasm in the
some of the students. When I told them they were making a PSA video, they were very eager to
start filming and editing videossome started even before I gave it as homework (unfortunately
these students also did the assignments a little wrongmissing key details and specific
information I had yet to discuss with thembut they are excited to use these tasks. I also think
that these verbal tasks are important for ELLs as an option to express information. In the future, I
would integrate assessments like these into my lessons and unit, however, not as often (once a
month here roughly) and I would use just few key strategies to familiar the students with the
routine and allow them to get better at using these performance assessmentswhich might
exhibit growth in a more meaningful manner.