I’ve been poking at this video for a while as something for Mathagogy, but it’s closer to 4 minutes than 2 and not so much about math as it is about grading. As such, I’m going to put it here and do something else for the 2 minute math project.
PCMI instigated a lot of changes in my classroom. This video is about what I believe was the biggest change and something that I think caused a lot of positive cultural shifts: I stopped putting grades on the papers I handed back.
The paper I talk about is Working Inside the Black Box: Assessment for Learning in the Classroom by Paul Black, Christine Harrison, Clare Lee, Bethan Marshall, and Dylan Wiliam.
I used SBG as my quiz structure in all classes, so students were regularly getting 2-4 question quizzes handed back (I’m not a fan of collecting homework). Prior to the article they had a number corresponding to the rubric I used and some comments. After the article they had no numbers/grades and all of them had comments (right or wrong, often in the form of a question). The change in discussion post-handing papers back was huge, but it did take time to happen and was just one part of my ongoing campaign to figure out ways to get students talking math and recognizing each other as fellow learners.
Not putting grades on things that students expect to have grades is a big shift. There’s backlash from the kids to deal with who were used to getting instant status from their grades to deal with and it takes time to change culture. Do I recommend you go and try this right now at the end of the year? Not really. Do I think you should consider this as a change for next year? Definitely. Post any questions you have in the comments and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for watching 🙂