How do we grade them all?

From the comfort of my parents’ living room, I just watched Carol Ann Tomlinson via live streaming from the ASCD summer conference in Boston. It’s the first day of summer holidays for us (happy Canada Day everyone!) but this opportunity was too good to miss.
My take-away from this one, was her answer to the last question from the floor. How do I assign a grade to my students?
She quoted Grant Wiggins, who described a mark built from 3 pieces, what he calls the 3 Ps. First, determine the Performance of the student when compared to the intended learning outcomes. How well did they meet the expectations for students of this level? If there’s only one box to fill in the report card, this is the one you must do. But if there are other opportunities to measure student progress, then the next two should be considered. Secondly, what kind of Process did they use to navigate the learning activities? Did they have a Growth Mindset, did they do their homework, are they a good team player? Finally, did they make exceptional Progress when you look at their starting place or initial assessment? Some kids start low but make great gains, even greater than the top achievers.
When we smash all those together, they don’t mean a lot. Try to find opportunities to communicate their progress via conferences, interim reports, notes and the like, and we’ll capture their experience as well as we can.


About Ron Sherman

I am the principal of Salmo Elementary/Secondary School, a small rural K-12 school in the Kootenay Lake School District. Happy to be part of the Grand Conversation, moving learning forward and joining with great people every day. Runner, triathlete, skier, blogger, loving husband and father of 2 great boys
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