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Dear Julie and All,
I agree with the above ideas. This way you, your students, their parents,
administrators, and the public know what you are teaching students. When
there are criteria to meet, students can more easily understand what they
have achieved, and what they can personally strive to improve. They can
focus on goals, and achieve a higher quality of work instead of doing the
same things (what they are comfortable with) repeatedly. I give students
plenty of time to "do their thing," but they also have to practice skills
they would never have tried if I had not demonstrated, encouraged, and
eventually required them to try. Plus, students tend to have more success
with new processes when they know what "quality" looks like, and when they
have the guidance to help them achieve it.
Sincerely, Leah (el. teacher in PA)
P.S. Besides all the time it takes to evaluate over 800 elementary students,
I'm glad we have grades. Even in elementary, the students seem to value
grades. I only wish the grades were more comprehensive than plus, check,
and minus. If I'm going to go through all the trouble to write rubrics,
evaluate, critique, and comment on work, I want the mark to exress exactly
how well the student is doing. If we didn't have grades, I'd teach the same
way, though. I just wouldn't have to keep so many records.
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