Why Gradeless? Breaking Free From Grades

Mike SzczepanikBlog, Engage Better, Grade Better, Innovate Better, Mastery Done Better, Reflect Better

TL;DR: Our grading habits can be inconsistent and have limited value in the learning process. The extrinsic motivation of grades often limits our students’ drive for deeper learning. Going gradeless is not a simple process, but a worthy one to help students reflect, listen to feedback, and grow. In traditional education systems, grades have long been the primary measure of … Read More

Heart of Education: Classroom Families

Jennifer WaldvogelBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Manage Better, Self Care Better, Teach Happier

TL;DR: Children may have a hard time recognizing their talents and skills. Educators can build students’ conflict resolution toolkit with stress reduction tools and empathy practice. Open each class with an activity that grounds students into the present moment. There’s a reason educators call students their “kids.” If schools are microcosms of society, then the classroom is a representation of … Read More

One Simple Strategy to Teach Better: Ask for Feedback

Steve ShapiroBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Innovate Better, Lead Better, Lesson Plan Better, Reflect Better

TL;DR: Teenagers are not bored, disengaged, and unhappy by nature. Teachers can improve rapidly if we ask students to give us feedback. It can be scary to ask; we need to train ourselves to depersonalize the feedback. A healthy feedback loop produces happier students AND a happier teacher. One Simple Strategy to Teach Better: Ask for Feedback One of our … Read More

Teaching Collaboration and Communication

Erin StackBlog, Connect Better, Reflect Better

TL;DR: How do students know if they’re doing a great job collaborating? Directly teach students what collaboration looks like. Share feedback with them throughout their class through glows and grows or a rubric. Embed practice into your lessons. Prized Classroom Possession My most prized classroom possession may not be what you’d assume. It’s not a document camera, SmartBoard, or other … Read More

Providing Better Feedback

Chelsea NicolinoBlog, Engage Better, Grade Better, Manage Better, Mastery Done Better, Reflect Better

TL;DR: Providing feedback to students is one of the most crucial aspects of our job. In this post, you will find five simple steps to incorporate effective and timely feedback to your students. (1) Classroom environment – establish norms and expectations for giving and receiving feedback. (2) Streamline grading practices – use the same grading rubric. (3) Use online tools … Read More