Saturday, April 4, 2009

A real game-changer!

Dean Shareski just tweeted that he diskliked the process of assigning a numeric value to a student's work. Eliminating this archaic practice would be a real game-changer. I couldn't agree more. A large step toward that would be to divide every content area into at least two categories:
  • Content Knowledge
  • Skill proficiencies
Teachers know that there are students who know stuff and students can do stuff, and sometimes the capacity in the two is very different.

I personally am in favor of the Rubric Levels from the Utah CRTs. It still assigns a number, but the category names are much more in line with the expectations of both today's parents and today's students.
  • Substantial Mastery
  • Sufficient Mastery
  • Partial Mastery
  • Minimal Mastery
Parents behave as though they believe an 'A' means their student has done all that was required in class and anything less is somehow deficient. Students behave the same. The list above more accurately reflects this expectation.

The other thing I like about this is if I used this rating system for the entire class not just end of level tests and specific assignments, it would more accurately reflect what students are really capable of both in content knowledge and in skill proficiencies.

For just a flavor of this see my journal rubric be patient with any grammar or spelling errors.

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