What Do Grades Mean to You?

Would you pull me out an A? Is a D higher than a C? Am I a D person? These are all questions that have been posed to me over the years. Micheal thought I sat with a fish like bowl and just opened a report card and then pulled out a grade from the Bowl . . . Tommy A in Math, C in reading. . . . He didn’t have a clue what grading was all about at second grade. Kim got a D on a paper and came home asking, “Mommy am I a D person? Just yesterday a second grader asked me which was higher a D or a C? My second year of teaching, one of my students was beaten for a D. . . so I hardly ever put a grade on any paper. . . just 23/27 for example. Let the parents figure it out if they wanted to. No one complained about it. I don’t value grades too much . . . one of my principals told me not to spend so much time grading. . . let the kids practice.

I would love to give check lists on what they have mastered. That tells you so much more than letter grades. . . kids understand that . . . especially in K, 1, and 2. We had that for awhile and it was wonderful. . . . but the pendulum of education swung yet again, and we went back to letter grades.

Consider these new meanings for a moment. . .
A —awesome, you have gotten it
B —bravo, you are almost there
C—come see, come sah . . . we better practice
D—Don’t give up, just a little more practice and you will get it
F—FINE! I will take the challenge and do better.

Maybe kiddoes would remember those letters and be more important.


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