“The greatest sign of success for a teacher ... is to be able to say,
‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’”
I am thrilled to be on your student's team this year.
I encourage you to help your student stay on top of the organization of their school life, and I hope that this website will aid you in that process. Each course has a webpage that includes weekly announcements, unit agendas and curriculum, resources, and study tools. I suggest that your student consider subscribing to Remind for their class to receive updates via text and/or email, and you are welcome to subscribe as well. The subscription link is on each class page. You and your student will also want to subscribe to their Google Classroom.
Mrs. Greene's Educational Philosophy on Grading
Over the past several years, I have become a grade reformer. I believe in the value of students practicing their comprehension and learning from their mistakes; however, I do not feel that they should be academically punished for this endeavor. Therefore, my classes do not receive grades for homework assignments, class participation or things like getting a signature, bringing in a supply or covering a book. These actions do not assess the mastery of the material, instead they recognize a behavior. Although these behaviors are beneficial and encouraged, I reward them with complements and recognition but not a grade.
It is a challenge to help students and their families understand this paradigm shift in education, so I often use the analogy of preparing for a marathon. Just like a runner cannot prepare to successfully finish a 26.2 mile run without months of training and hours of hitting the pavement, a student cannot successfully pass a final examination without hours of practice and studying. Instead of running sprints, students might work on practice essays; or instead of cross training in a pool, students may manipulate vocabulary. If practice one day is not to perfection, students should not be punished with a poor score, but instead I want them to evaluate where they are and how they can achieve a better result by the next class period, the unit test, or the final examination. Failure is important for growth; it aids in our understanding of the world and in monitoring ourselves.
Many would question at this point what I do grade. I examine the students' comprehension of the standards of my curriculum via assessments. Quizzes serve as benchmarks to help the kids and me know what they understand so far in the unit and what needs to be readdressed. I use quiz corrections to reaffirm correct answers and redirect learning. Tests, projects, and papers are like the long runs in marathon training. They appraise how far a student has come in the curriculum.
One of the major cognitive shifts that students struggle with in terms of this style of grading is self-management and self-monitoring. I coach the students as to which pages they should read in the texts, which questions can help them chart their understanding, and I present them with in-class opportunity for practice. I do not expect students to teach themselves, but I do empower the students to take ownership for their understanding.
In the spring of 2010, I had the opportunity to attend a two day seminar with Dr. Tom Guskey, who enlightened me to this style of grading. For more details, I encourage you to read his article, Five Obstacles to Grading Reform.