Monday, December 7, 2009


Books that groove with grading:

Fair Isn't Always Equal, by Rick Wormeli
Differentiation, by Rick Wormeli
Ahead of the Curve, The Power of Assessment to Transform Teaching & Learning, by Ainsworth, Almeida, Davies, and DuFour
Transforming Classroom Grading, by Robert Marzano
Improving Student Learning One Teacher At A Time, by Jane Pollock
Rethinking Homework, by Cathy Vatterott
Results Now, by Michael Schmoker


  1. Jo Boaler's 'What's Math Got to Do With It' -- specifically the chapter titled "Taming the Monster" -- offers some interesting perspectives on feedback. Her main point is as follows:

    Students who received direct, constructive feedback on their actual work learned at a much faster pace than students who only received grades.

    Furthermore, (and surprising to the author) students who received both a grade and the direct feedback faired no better than the students who received only a grade on their work.

    No surprise here: students are transfixed on their grades.

    I have been struggling with how to shift the students' focus off the grades and onto the learning.

  2. This is what the article "Formative Assessment Minute by Minute, Day by Day" also found about comments and grades. We read this article in DL--I also found a link to it online:

    I know Martha is doing a lot of comments only. Ihope she'll post about that process for us.

    I have tried to do comments only for notebook checks and on short quizzes/exit ticket type assessments. I have noticed:

    1) Kids actually read the comments

    2) When kids try to compare their "grades", they end up reading each others comments and comparing the work they did. The conversation is about math rather than the number of points they earned.

    I'm not sure how to do this on longer tests--it is really time consuming.

  3. Don't have a great deal of time to read especially as I'm already reading two other school related books. If you could only pick one or two, does anyone have any recommendations?