So why did I decide to blog? I’ve tried blogging before and never been very good at it, that is until I started blogging about books with one of my best friends Amy at What Will She Read Next. I think it took finding something I really have an interest and something to say about to stick with it.
Now as for this specific blog my district is implementing strategies from the book A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades by Ken O’Connor. The teachers in my building did a book study at the beginning of the year and the principals have been blogging about the fixes each week. I was interested and added the book to my to read list. It rapidly moved up when someone brought what was happening to the attention of the local news, parents were expressing concern that using these fixes means we are lowering standards for students. I saw an instant reaction from friends on Facebook both those who have students in district and those that don’t. The next day I stopped into the school library and picked up the book. As an employee I wanted to be able to provide knowledgeable responses to questions and concerns.
I began to read, and I should share that I read the way I ask my students to read, actively meaning I “talk” to the text. I ask questions, make connections and predictions, and evaluate. In the case of this book I began to take notes and by the time I had finished the first chapter I had eight pages of notes. At that point I decided maybe this was something I could really talk about and it might even be blogworthy. Then after a bit of research online I found a study guide to go along with the book, one that includes a pre-reading assessment of current grading practices. These pre-assessments I found to be great reflection tools which led to several more pages of notes. I warn you ahead of time I may repeat myself as often I cycle back to the same idea, frequently that idea is test anxiety. Hopefully some of my thoughts on grading and specifically the fixes will alleviate concerns and if you’re reading this please feel free to ask questions.
Before I get started sharing my thoughts on this book though I’ll be sharing a bit more about myself as an educator and my personal beliefs when it comes to teaching.