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Shifting to More Equitable Grading through Rubrics, Conferences, and Narratives

Hilary Hamilton, Sarah Bower-Grieco, Timothy Boyle — SLA-MS

As part of a multi-year process, inspired by Joe Feldman’s “Grading for Equity,” Science Leadership Academy Middle School has been re-working and re-aligning how we assess students and communicate their progress. This year, we’re piloting a new report card conference structure. Rather than meeting with families when report cards come out, we’re meeting with students and families at the midway point of the quarter, with a graded rubric and project from each of their classes. Using these as the crux of the conversation, we’re working as a team of advisory-student-family member to understand how learning at project-based SLA-MS works. These conversations are built around the questions: what do students need to keep doing, start doing, stop doing, and where they need help?

This process has pushed staff to question their own practices more deeply. What makes a good rubric? How do I write feedback that’s helpful for students to revise specific work? How do I communicate with students and families to help students revise their school practices moving forward? This is work we’re very much in the middle of and are eager to share what we’ve tried, what’s worked, what hasn’t, and get others’ opinions as we seek to better live our core values of inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, and reflection.

Conversational Practice

This session will include a series of discussion prompts for attendees to think together about their specific practice and the overarching school practices where they work. We will co-construct notes documents with takeaways for attendees.

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