Even if we don’t yet teach in a grade-less utopia, there are steps teachers can take to become more accurate and equitable in our grading policies. Cheryl Mizerny shares steps toward fairer grading: eliminate zeroes, avoid extra points, don’t grade homework, and more.
How many minutes? In which grades? What really works? How can family be engaged? These and lots more questions are answered in Cathy Vatterott’s book Rethinking Homework. Educator Brian Taylor says it’s a must for educators who want to bring sanity to homework policies.
Like many faculties, teachers at Jeremy Hyler’s middle school have struggled to find a workable grading policy that addresses late work and takes into account grade levels, content areas, and differing philosophies. Hyler wants to encourage learners, but what about rigor?
When it comes to vocabulary instruction, teachers have many, many questions, for example: “How can I fit vocabulary in? How should I pick the words? What should my quizzes look like?” Literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo provides answers to these questions and more.
We’re always talking to students about study habits, writes Roxanna Elden, but sometimes teachers need better methods for managing our own daily responsibilities. Good news! Embedded in some of the very lectures we give to our students are tips that can work for us, too.
This fall, as school districts scattered around the country are considering “no homework” policies, teacher educator Curtis Chandler looks at research on whether and how homework can support learning and suggests teaching apps to help make it short, meaningful, and accessible.
If teaching time in school is used effectively, not much homework needs to be given, writes MS teacher Cheryl Mizerny. “When I do give homework, I make every effort to make it engaging, meaningful, and brief.” Read the do’s and don’ts underlying her homework policy.
Last year 8th grade teacher Brian Kelley began podcasting conversations with his student writers. Through conferring, he says, teachers let adolescents know that their voices matter “and their explanations can make us better teachers.” Kelley shares three samples.
Want to shift ownership of the classroom to your students, give up reward and punishment systems, eliminate homework, and revamp your current grading system? Laura Von Staden suggests starting with Pernille Ripp’s resource-rich, inspiring Passionate Learners.
With the winter “read by the fire” season in full force, we offer a selection of 20 MiddleWeb posts that have garnered thousands of views apiece. They represent the wisdom & expertise of middle grades educators with a wide range of teaching experiences.