Thinking about What if we used letter grades instead of the 100-point scale (if we must use grades) 60-60-60 #23 and reflecting…

Over a year ago, reading Helping Students Level Up literally breathed life into my understanding of formative assessment within the traditional confines of grades and school. This post is one that I have revisited countless times with faculty and in my own thinking about assessment, grades, and learning.

If I take the two main learning experiences I had today — at church and on the tennis court — leveled assessment and the evolution of the assessment indicators from Gough’s post resonate very clearly. A grade of my tennis skills or of my understanding related to the Sunday School lesson (one which I had not prepared for) would have been a poor indicator of my skills, knowledge, or interest. That’s because it wouldn’t have told the whole story. Part of the what the interplay of leveled assessment and authentic reflection does for learners (both teachers and students) is that it invites even more convesation…and in my opinion, even more learning.

Going from grades –> Guskey’s 4 Point Rubric –> to the descriptors that Gough describes in her post (and also copied below) gets at the heart of what could begin a “grading revolution” in many of our schools.

From grades (0-100) to traditional descriptors of levels of understanding (Level 1: Beginning, Level 2: Progressing
Level 3: Proficient, Level 4: Exceptional) to the following:

Level 1:  I’m getting my feet wet. 
Level 2:  I’m comfortable with support.
Level 3:  I’m confident with the process.
Level 4:  I’m ready for the deep end.

It makes sense. And it invites conversation. I like it.


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