Our site has recently begun the journey of evaluating our grading practices through a deep dive into the book, “Grading for Equity“, by Joe Feldman. It’s a hard conversation to have for any teacher because it is personal and our brains have been so ingrained in the current grading practices that are in place. However, it is an incredibly important conversation to have to understand if our grading practices are truly equitable across all students.
When we discuss these grading practices, it is more than simply evaluating the current 0-100 scale that tends to dominate education. It goes much deeper than this. It also includes conversations such as late work policies, hard vs soft skills, assessment practices, and more. All of these pieces of our grading practices can influence students and their grades. Do our current grading practices represent the type of education we are giving our students today? Or do they more closely model a world of the past? Honestly, I am still exploring my own beliefs for the most equitable grading practices. There is a lot of hard work, conversations, and reflections that will be coming over the next several months. During this time, I hope to create some interactive and engaging professional development activities that you could also share with your teachers, departments or sites.
In this first activity, I created a simple, short, and interactive PearDeck presentation that challenges teachers to evaluate their grading practices to determine if it is truly equitable. I can take little to no credit for the content in this, since the majority of it came from Joe Feldman’s Quiz on his Grading for Equity website. However, I took this quiz and put it into a presentation that would allow school sites to have interactive conversations as they go through it. Here are a couple ideas on how to use this activity with your staff or team:
- Individually Paced – Set up the PearDeck for teachers to complete on their own and at their own pace during a staff meeting. Review the answers at the end, then break into groups to discuss these answers.
- Whole Group Paced – Set up the PearDeck for teachers to complete as a group. Display the responses to the whole group to see if the site is aligned or not. Review the answers, one by one, discuss during the presentation. If time allows, break into groups at the end for further discussion.
Personally, my favorite is the whole group option, although that was rarely my teaching style in the classroom. However, it is truly powerful to go through these questions as a whole site and compare where everyone is at and to see whether or not the school was aligned. You may find that, on certain questions, nearly all your teachers completely agree with one another. On the other hand, there may be questions where they are more split – which is where the true work begins!
If you are interested in using this activity with your site, all you need to do is:
Important Note: To view the answers choices to the quiz, you must present through PearDeck. You can also view them in the speaker notes at the bottom. 🙂
Has your school taken a deep dive into its grading practices? If so, share in the comments below!