I will recap my first three weeks here shortly (yes, already three weeks in!), but tonight I’m thinking about grades…
I’m trying to move my students past the “I got a what?” to understanding WHY they got what they did…since all of our assignments are building upon each other. It’s not always an easy task since ultimately our students are filling out their GPAs on college documents, job applications, and various scholarship forms.
I get it. Grades matter. Yet the bigger picture is one of life long learning and a more meaningful application of the knowledge we want our students to gain. I also understand that the assignments we create can help out this grade mentality because we can make them more meaningful. However, I’m still trying to figure out more ways to push students past the immediate grade and help them see the bigger picture. One example is sending back essays with markup (but without a grade) and having students use the rubric to give themselves a grade. After doing this a few times, I noticed many of my students started improving their writing because they no longer focused on the number at the end, but instead the comments in between because they wanted to be better the next time we worked on an essay.
Sometimes I feel successful, other times I feel like it’s all about the numbers. I can’t be the only one out there who feels this way (right?).