As our school site continues on our journey of evaluating our grading practices (see my previous blog post for more details), I am excited to share more interactive resources that can be used for professional development at your site! In the previous blog post, I shared an activity that challenged teachers to evaluate their grading practices through a self-assessment. Now that teachers have gone through this process, it is important to begin the hard work of trying to brainstorm and establish common goals. To start this process, our school site leadership team met and determined three areas of importance when establishing common grading practices:
- Grading Scale
- Example: 0-100, A-F, 4 Point Scale, Etc.
- Late Work
- Example: Is late work allowed? What’s your policy?
- Categories & Weights
- Example: What is more important – the task or learning? Do you weight your grades?
As a school site, our goal is to try to create common goals for grading practices across our PLC’s and, in some areas, on a schoolwide level. We are trying to start small by focusing on these three areas and PLC’s and, hopefully, growing them over time. As an example, starting with PLC’s or departments is already a huge task. Trying to establish all of these goals on a sitewide level could be a much larger task that may take some time. Overall, our goal is to allow our leadership team to help guide the focus of these conversations and where they hope that we should go as we deep dive into our grading practices.
To help us understand our common goals across PLC’s, we developed two activities that I will share below. As mentioned above, we are starting in PLC’s and that is how I will reference our process. However, you could certainly replace PLC’s with department, grade level, or even schoolwide. It is totally up to you and your site to decide what is best! 🙂
1.) Brainstorming Common Goals
In this activity, PLC’s will meet together to simply start brainstorming and thinking about these three categories and where they hope to go in the future. Think of it like a brain dump. There is no need to have all your questions answered or decisions made. Simply take the time to have a discussion with your PLC and record your thoughts. After the PLC’s record their thoughts and ideas, challenge them to view the other slides (based on subject area) to view other ideas and/or add comments and questions.
We have already completed this activity with our PLC’s and I absolutely loved the conversations that we observed and the ideas that were recorded. I was so impressed with the time and deep-dive our teachers took into evaluating their grading practices and attempting to start the process of establishing common goals.
2.) Establishing Common Goals
After PLC’s have had the opportunity to brainstorm, challenge them to begin the hard work of narrowing their focus and establishing common goals. This is the real meat and potatoes of creating cohesive grading process across PLC’s (or departments, grade level, etc).
In this activity, you will once again see our three focus areas. Each slide represents one focus area and asks several questions to help PLC’s narrow down their common goals for their grading practices. By the end of this activity, the goal is for PLC’s to have a strong idea of what their PLC-wide focus will be for grading.
If you choose to make a copy of this activity and want to include all of your PLC’s, simply make a copy of the three slides multiple times and assign certain slides to certain PLC’s.
I am going to be 100% transparent that this is a huge undertaking for our school site and the end goals are still being determined as we go through this process. Hopefully, if you find yourself in similar conversations at your school site, these activities can help frame and guide your conversations.
As always, drop any comments and/or questions below!