What’s my grade?
This is my least favorite question. Luckily, it rarely comes up during the first week of school. During the first week, maybe two, we’re still in the honeymoon period where it hasn’t dawned on kids that I may be evaluating their work and that there may be a number in a spreadsheet somewhere determining if they get an “A” or “C” or “F.”
But a few weeks in it’s easily kids’ #1 demand: show me my grade!
This year, I’m nipping that in the bud with a strategy I’ve always wanted to try but have never quite followed through on: grade profiles.
The concept is pretty simple. I will return student work with descriptive feedback and students will match their work to descriptions of grades on a profile document they keep in their binders. It will be their job to assign themselves a grade and defend their choice using evidence from their work in class. The profile will look something like this (this one belongs to the brilliant Jessica King of the Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, my own is still in progress):
I WILL NEVER WRITE ANOTHER PERCENTAGE OR LETTER GRADE ON A STUDENT ASSIGNMENT EVER AGAIN!
“What’s my grade?” I don’t know, you tell me!