fbpx

Episode 190 – Assessment Questions & Answers

Jul 18, 2022 | Podcast | 0 comments

LISTEN NOW…

WATCH NOW…

In episode 189 we discussed all things assessment and standards based grading with guru Tom Schimmer. We knew you had follow up questions around assessing in your classroom so in this episode we’re sharing a question and answer session we had with members of the Make Math Moments Academy all around assessment with standards based grading.

You’ll Learn

  • How to blend standards based grading and your district policies; 
  • How to help students buy into standards based grading;
  • How you can track standards in a standards based grading classroom;
  • What does a student’s mark in a course really represent? and,
  • How do I help students NOT erase their work?

Resources

Make Math Moments Academy

Courses: 

Assessment For Growth [Course] 

How To Transform Your Textbook Into A Curiosity Machine [Free Video Course] 

Classroom Resources: 

Make Math Moments Units & Tasks

 

Are you a district mathematics leader interested in crafting a mathematics professional learning plan that will transform your district mathematics program forever? Book a time to chat with us!

DOWNLOAD OUR HOW TO START THE SCHOOL YEAR OFF RIGHT GUIDE
Start your school year off right by downloading the guide that you can save and print to share with colleagues during your next staff meeting, professional learning community meeting or just for your own reference!

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Kyle Pearce: In episode 189, we discussed all things assessment and standards based grading with assessment guru, Tom Schimmer. We knew you had followup questions around assessing in your classroom so in this episode, we are sharing a question and answer session that we recently had with some members of the Make Math Moments Academy and it's all around assessment with standards based grading.

Jon Orr: Yeah. Stick around. And you're going to hear answers to some common questions you still may have or you may have, or maybe the teachers in your district or school you're working with have these questions. But we're going to answer and discuss questions like how to blend standards based grading with the current district policies. We're going to talk about how to help students buy into standards based grading versus modular grading. How you can track standards based grading in your classroom. What's your mark book look like? That's a big one for a lot of folks. What does a student's mark in the course really represent? We're going to talk about that and how do you help students not erase their work so you can capture it and see it and add that into your assessment portfolios.

Kyle Pearce: Well, my friends, let's dive in. Welcome to the Making Math Moments That Matter Podcast. I'm Kyle Pierce.

Jon Orr: And I'm John Orr. We are from makemathmoments.com and we are two math teachers who together-

Kyle Pearce: With you, the community of math moment makers worldwide, who want to build and deliver problem-based math lessons that spark curiosity-

Jon Orr: Fuel sense making-

Kyle Pearce: And ignite your teacher moves. Welcome my friends to yet another episode of the Making Math Moments That Matter Podcast. And today, we bring you a little bit of a glimpse into one of our question and answer sessions that we hold regularly with academy members. And it wasn't planned this way, but the questions all seemed to revolve around assessment and evaluation, in particular around standard space grading. And Jon, after we held that session, we thought, holy smokes, this is so connected to the recording we just did with Tom Schimmer, who, for those who haven't listened yet, you've got to go back and listen to Tom's interview.
Also, Tom was a part of our virtual summit last year so academy members can go and watch his summit session, which was fantastic. We just start scratching the surface in the interview on the podcast. So we encourage you to go check that out if you haven't yet. And then this Q&A just allowed us to dig deeper and talk about some specific questions that are pretty common when people start kicking around the idea of shifting their assessment practice.

Jon Orr: Yeah. And we thought this was a great one, two punch series in assessment for the podcast. So if you have not yet listened to 189, that's the previous episode, just hit back on your podcast platform there and go one episode back and listen to that one first. And I think that would give you a good base and overview of what we talk specifically about in this episode. Like Kyle said, we address some common questions teachers have, whereas Tom's episode does an overarching idea of what assessment should be and should look like in your classroom. So we're excited for you to listen to this one. Let's get into it.

Kyle Pearce: Awesome. Here we go friends.

Jon Orr: Today was the very last day of classes. Last day of classes but we don't have any exams. We don't have any end of year summit of assessments. There's no 30% Kyle. Our Ontario teachers know that at the end of the year, all Ontario classes have a 30% end of year summit of culminating activity, evaluation, exam. Call it something like that or any combination of that. That's a normal year is we have that. This year we didn't have any of those. Didn't have it this semester. So quick win for me is last day of classes, even though you say goodbye to your students, it's still like, hey, summer's here. It's here and it feels good, doesn't it? That's my quick win.

Kyle Pearce: I love it. Yeah. And in my world, we are wrapping things up in our consultant role where we're trying to wrap up loose ends from this school year and also we're taking care of a couple summer programs as well. So we've been putting some finishing touches on that and it's been great to see some new educators raising their hands to run those programs in the summer, which is awesome. And I'm looking forward to thinking ahead to, Jon, you and I are going to be doing some presenting in the summer. One place we'll be hanging out is in Denver. So I've been thinking ahead about that. So that's another quick win for me.
It's been about a week since I've been in a classroom because all the teachers are wrapping things up and everybody's like, "No, we've got this for the rest of the school year." So my quick win isn't a classroom quick win, which typically I like it to be, but I'm looking ahead. I'm looking to doing a little traveling, a little presenting. Actually, Jon, for you and I it'll be the first time we'll be presenting together live in the flesh with a group of real human beings that are not virtual. So that's going to be the first time since pre COVID. Which, yeah, I don't know. Are we going to remember how to do that? I'm not sure.

Jon Orr: I don't know. Yeah, I'm sure we will, but it's going to feel like our first time all over again. You're going to have the jitters and be like, "Oh, I don't know how this live event's going to go."

Kyle Pearce: It's like the first day teaching.

Jon Orr: Exactly.

Kyle Pearce: That first day of school.

Jon Orr: Exactly. So folks, if this is your first time joining us on our Q&A/learning sessions that we hold monthly, hey, welcome. We welcome you. If this is your second time, third time, maybe ... I've seen some faces here that have been here many times. But if this is your first time, hey, this session is all about you guys and we take questions. So think about any question you might want to pop in the chat or turn your mic on in just a moment. But we also like to start with quick wins. But we could have some different groups here, Kyle. We could have some of our academy members who join these monthly, but we also could have some folks that have joined the summer cohort of the online workshop. They're working through that right now throughout the summer. So we could have both of those groups here joining us tonight. But thanks for that quick win. Let's open the floor, Kyle. Anybody else want to jump in here and give us a quick win? Could be anything that you want to share just to get things rolling here.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, let's see. I'm going to throw the little party celebration emoji out there because I know there's someone who wants to share a little quick win here.

Christine : I can share.

Kyle Pearce: All right. Nice job, Christine.

Christine : This is my first time joining one of these sessions, but I'm taking the summer class and I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm on module four. And I'm out of school right now. We got out at the end of May. But I'm really enjoying the class and I have been meeting with my seventh grade team for some curriculum planning for the fall and I think I've gotten them on board with more of a notice and wonder discovery approach, at Least for warmups and things, than they have done in the past. So that's my quick win that I think I convinced them.

Kyle Pearce: I love it. And actually I think I remember reading that on the discussion forum, so awesome. That's great. Great news. Great quick win. And really, it sounds like that's a start, right? That's really all you can ask for is that everybody's open and willing to give it a shot and see what works. And I think as you look ahead to that, just considering the fact that when we try anything new, things are maybe not going to be as easy as they were when you've maybe had 10 years in the classroom doing something a certain way. So getting your head in that head space to be ready for those and trying to think as a team how you'll be able to combat some of those challenges. So good on you and your team.

Jon Orr: Thanks so much. Anybody else?

Laura: I'll be brave.

Jon Orr: Awesome. Thanks so much, Laura.

Kyle Pearce: There it is.

Jon Orr: Brave soul.

Laura: I have totally enjoyed everything. I stumbled upon you guys when I was looking for something to do for Pi Day and I came up with your pi ... I don't even remember what it was. And then it just was a rabbit hole of, oh my gosh.

Kyle Pearce: Going in circles. Yeah.

Laura: So I started reading, Thinking Classrooms and just today I ... On Monday, I'm starting with my own sixth grader and eighth grader summer school session and I pulled some of their friends in trying to get more of the idea of the thinking classroom ahead of the game because I'll start that in the fall. And I was really nervous of, I don't know how to do this. I've been hearing a lot, but the practicality of doing it is what's been scaring me. And so I opened up Peter Lilijedahl's book this morning and it was dedicated for every teacher who has had the courage to change. And that really stuck in my head and heart to be like, okay, I'm not going to be perfect, but it's going to be that excitement and fear together that it's going to be a change and I really am praying that it's going to be a positive one.

Jon Orr: Love it.

Kyle Pearce: I love it.

Jon Orr: Yeah. That's a great message to kick things off too. And I know that so many teachers have had great results and also career changing trajectories because of the book. And it's only been out, what, a year, maybe two years. And it's been a great resource. Laura, I just went through I think three or four chapters again, just this week, reading some about the homework chapter, the chapter about ... I think it was ... Not the group work chapter, but I think it was notes. How to make good notes in that chapter. So good refresher for me too.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. That's the notes to your future forgetful self.

Jon Orr: Yes. That's right. That's right.

Kyle Pearce: Fantastic book. And actually in there, when you were opening it up, I had a flashback. I think, Jon, you and I have a little blurb in there in the acknowledgements in the book there just wishing Peter and referencing how much it's impacted our work as well. So great read. I just got my hands on the supplementary version, which is to address different models and modes of instruction. That just landed on my desk at work the other day so I took a quick peek through it, but I'm looking forward to digging a little deeper there. So good on you. Thanks for sharing those wins Christine and Laura.
Friends, I'm looking at the time. I want to make sure that we get a chance to dive into some of those common pebbles in your shoe. Now, keep in mind, I use the word common, but don't think that it has to be a common pebble. Usually people think it's only a pebble in their own shoe, but it usually turns out that it's actually something that's kicking around in many people's shoes. So don't worry about that. About it being common or not. I'm going to tell you that it probably is more common than you realize. So let's open that floor up and let's dig in on what you friends are working on and maybe some of the things that are working and then maybe the parts that maybe aren't quite there yet or that you're still grappling with.

Jon Orr: Yeah. And feel free to just start talking or throw it in the chat or hit the hand raise button on your Zoom there.

Kyle Pearce: Awesome.

JP: Put it in the car.

Kyle Pearce: I see JP is with us with the mic on. I don't know if that's intentional or not, but JP, if you want to share ... Yeah. There it goes. It went away.

Jon Orr: I remember that Kyle, when we were there as students. It was like, "Hey, somebody's mic is on." And then it was like, boom, no.

Kyle Pearce: And then it's obviously-

Jon Orr: Someone left their hand up because we asked something and then it was like, "Is your hand still up?" And it was like boom. Off.

Kyle Pearce: We're trying to demote it. We're not trying to demote the idea at all. We just want to make sure that you're aware. All right.

Jon Orr: It gave me a nightmare for a second.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. I saw a few mics just go off, sadly.

Jon Orr: I'm going to call out one because Terry's joining us here and Terry was ... We had chatted, I think on Facebook, Terry, about one of your pebbles right now that you're going through. Terry, you're going through the assessment course I think correctly right now and you were talking about standards based grading. Hey, do you want to turn your mic on and let us know what you're thinking? And then the group here, I know that we always think that the group knows more than one so the group can help guide any suggestions around the grading that you're venturing into right now.

Terry: Well, the first thing, I'll start with a win. I actually finished the assessment for growth today. Which I'll bring something else about that later. But the question I have is trying to go to this kind of grade book is I'm at a school that requires two daily grades per week and two test grades every four and a half weeks. Because we do products reports every four and a half weeks. So I have to have two daily grades per week, two test grades every four and a half weeks. So I'm trying to figure out how to make that work with the standard based grading in a way that lets it flow together.

Jon Orr: Gotcha. Terry, for everyone in the room here, just because there's a group, why don't you just do a quick, in your own words and what you have come to realize what standards based grading is to you. Can you maybe just do a quick summary so people make sure that we all are on the same page?

Terry: Just put me on spot why don't you.

Jon Orr: That's what I'm doing.

Kyle Pearce: And actually Terry, before you do, I wanted to actually extend that a little bit and say, how are you seeing it? What parts are you liking? So not necessarily what is it? Because I think that definition can be so many different viewpoints on that. And I think it would look and sound a little differently in different classrooms. But I guess what's the elements of it that you're after? Why do you want to do this work? And then that might help us to better understand the aspects that you really want to make sure that you're honing in on and still managing to not get fired at the same time if your district has certain restrictions.

Terry: Well, part of it is my students come in, like I imagine most people's, at such a varied grade level. I teach mostly 10th and 11th graders, but some 12th, but mostly 10th and 11th. Algebra one, algebra two. And I have students that come to me anywhere from a fourth grade to an eighth grade level usually. And so I like the idea of trying to do the assessment and let students progress where they are instead of just giving everybody the same thing. Because some people just are never going succeed if you give everybody the same thing. And so I think part of the standards based grading allows students to work more at their own speed, at their own level, allows you to go back more maybe than traditional grades do. I like the fact that you talk about being able to change the grade. I remember, because Jon mentions this a lot, September 23rd.

Jon Orr: It's always that date, huh?

Kyle Pearce: Yep.

Terry: That's right. It's always that date. That you can go back and change those grades and it's a great influx, basically. I like that idea. The spiraling. And I've tried to do some of that before, but one of the problems I've had with it when I've tried to do it the way I was trying to do it before was the only people that ever wanted to do the retake ... And I'm a firm believer to do a retake you've got to show me there's a reason to let you do the retake. I'm not just going to keep handing you tests over and over again. The only ones that ever want to do the retake was the ones that wanted to go from a B to an A. Ones that failed couldn't care less about trying to do the retakes. So I think this tied in with the other stuff, because I had started using ... Our school year ended in May as well.
I started using in April a little bit, in May a little bit, some of the notice and wonder stuff and I was getting a lot more feedback and a lot more participation from doing that. So I'm trying to figure out a way to tie all of that together, still be able to get the grades that I have to give without the grades being so where when the student sees a bad grade right off the bat they just give up. So that's part of the whole process I'm thinking of this whole thing of being able to do all of that together.

Kyle Pearce: I love it. And that helps to clarify where your mind is at. And you've mentioned a lot of the pieces that I think are what attracts everyone towards that system. It's more particular, it's more descriptive in terms of where I need to work and where I can improve, where I'm doing well already, and so on. So that's really helpful. Now, you're in a tricky spot from the perspective that you have to have this "grade" to share. Now, the research would suggest that's not necessarily super helpful for the learner, from the perspective that I know why your district's doing it, to be honest, and I think it's just that they want to make sure that it's not the last week of the school year and then parents find out Tommy has been failing and we've known this for months and the parents haven't been informed and then Tommy just sort of didn't say anything about it.
I get that perspective. It definitely throws a bit of a wrench in things in terms of you having to take what they've done and then translate it into a mark. However, at the same time, sometimes I think we overthink that process. So breaking it down into these individual parts, to me, helps me with trying to better define what that grade should be versus the way I used to do it and the way we traditionally did it, which was we add up all the marks and then we just punch it in the calculator and it is what it is. The reality is that we made this decision by assigning a certain amount of marks to every question we marked. So we made that decision, even though we may not have been as aware of it as we maybe should have been, if that makes sense.
So it's like when I put those questions on, I essentially put a line in the sand and said that this topic is going to be weighted more or less because there's more of those questions or because that one question has more marks on it. So now what we're doing is we're just pushing it to the other side and now we're actually getting to look at what the student's done. We're getting to look at the body of work. And to me, I feel like it requires me to do a little more thinking, but the reality is, I think you can actually come up with something that's more accurate. A more accurate description of what that student currently, the three things I love are know, understand, and can do. So I think of those three things. And there're certain things in your course that might be more about knowing and certain things might be more about doing, but then these understanding pieces are really key for me.
If a student can do a lot of stuff and they know a lot of stuff, but they don't actually understand it, to me, that understand part weighs a little bit more heavily and that mark might change based on that. Now, I think the challenge ... And I'm interpreting here and maybe we'll throw it back to you to get your perspective on this. But it's always nice when we can say the calculator said this is what your mark is. Now you're put in a spot where now you have to be able to articulate why you put that number on there. You could average out your standards if you wanted to. That's one option. Or you could visually get a sense and say, "Hey, the most commonly occurring ..." Almost like a mode. "The most commonly occurring grade is in the 70s so I'm going to use a 70 this to describe it."
But ultimately I think as long as you have an understanding of why you gave what you gave and you can tell that student and articulate it, then I think you're in the clear. And then the bonus is, and you mention this, is that student, if they don't like that grade, it's okay because you still have tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that, and you have the remainder of this course to show me otherwise. And I'm human. There's no way that I can tell you a 72 is your real mark, because the reality is there's no way for me to know that for certain, but that's where I'm at now. And I feel like if that mindset is shared with students, that you say, "Listen, this grade is not set in stone. It's based on where I see you now. And I want you to tell me, I want you to show me what I'm not seeing that you think you've got going on." Or vice versa. So I said a lot there. Got a little carried away. But I want to flip it back to you and get your thoughts on that and maybe your perspective on how that might influence or impact how you might use this.

Terry: Well, part of it is, it's just the district, like I said, it requires it. And we have to post them online so the students and the parents can see them. We are told that we have to give immediate feedback, not necessarily the same day, but there can't be a delay in getting grades in of whatever you're going to grade. And so all of that to me, I just don't know. My brain, I guess, has been so stuck on traditional, to go from that to the other, I can't make the two pieces inaudible.

Jon Orr: Right. We've got a chat going on also, Terry, in the chat, about some ideas that have been floating around. And I guess to bring that chat out here, my question right now is ... Because I think this can take a different approach to help you specifically with how to blend these two ideas together. When you post those grades online, is that just a communication thing or is that like you're putting them in a set grade book and then that grade book will calculate a final mark for a kid and you don't actually have any control over how a mark is calculated? Or is it just like, I'm just posting the grades for this week and here's where everybody stands and it could be different next week and I still calculate the grade here on my end, but I just share it?

Terry: It's automatic. I can either put in as a daily grade, which counts as a certain percentage, I can put in as a test grade, which counts as a certain percentage.

Jon Orr: And you don't get to change those percentages?

Terry: And I don't get to change those. I do not get change to those.

Kyle Pearce: That is a major wrench in that approach.

Jon Orr: I'm going to open up the floor here. I know that there's some folks here who've had some experience, I think around this. I think, Timothy, you said you might want to jump in here. I don't know. Timothy, do you have any suggestions or experience or you want to just throw comment out?

Timothy: Yeah. Well, I've done this before. Used the standards based creating principles in the class in a school where they don't do that. And with differing amounts of administrative support. What I did, which doesn't sound like it's perfect for your system, is I made each quiz be a single skill. So those would be like standards. I could pretend that all the students are familiar with this, there's a quiz, but it's only one skill. And the key to standards based grading is that the grade is never final. That is that if the student shows later down the line through whatever means, then you can change that quiz score. Since you're stuck with two tests ... Exactly two tests every four and a half weeks?

Terry: It's got to be at least two. It can be more than two.

Jon Orr: But it could be a daily grade, not necessarily a test, right Terry? Because you just-

Terry: No, no. Have to have two daily grades per week, two test grades every four and a half weeks.

Jon Orr: Gotcha.

Timothy: But wait, was it two daily grades per week?

Terry: Per week.

Timothy: Okay. Okay. So either way-

Terry: You could have more. And normally, I do have more. I'm one of those people that gives tests as frequently as I can. I give daily grades a lot. Matter fact, principal's even made comment about how many grades I put in to other teachers as a good thing.

Timothy: But you can change the grade later down the line. There's test corrections or whatever. You can change the grade if you need to. So what I would do is probably either do quizzes but call them tests and do more of them and then have each one be one skill or understanding. Or you could do a test every two weeks. You do a test and it's got three skills that are being tested. And then those three skills are all independent of each other. And maybe two of those skills get spiraled again on the next test. And then if they get those skills, then you can replace those grades on that test. So you can still get that you have learned those skills, you have that growth mindset, you know that you're changing your grades around and it's still in that test and assignment set.

Jon Orr: Right. Terry, you can go back and change those later if you needed to?

Terry: I can for that nine weeks. I can't go back to a previous nine weeks. So again, we're on block scheduling so we only have the two nine weeks. So I can't go back and change anything from the first nine weeks during the second nine weeks without special permission.

Jon Orr: Right. And I could see how Timothy's suggestion here could work for you if you've got these set calculations in timelines. Is that when you release a grade ... And if you can release more than one, then you could say, "Look, this week we evaluated this, this, and this. These are the learning goals or the standards that we evaluated. I'm going to release those." And if you can go back and change those, then they must be labeled somehow on your grade book. And so then you could just label them by learning goal or standard. And so then when you go back to change them, you'll know that those three released back on September 23rd are those particular standards.
So then when student has shown improvement later on, you can go back and switch that grade out in that grade book. You're also maybe releasing three more this week, but you're going to go back and switch these other ones you saw improvement on throughout the time. Might not be just the grade you released this week, but you released these three and you change these other ones as all along the way. And then that can help with this calculation that this system is calculating for you.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. And I wonder too if ... I know that I am definitely against being restricted. Just having more of this open opportunity, kind of like make your own professional judgment on how you're going to do things. But because you're within this restriction, I wonder if you can use that as a positive for some of those students you are referencing, who you were saying the B's to the A's are all pushing, and then maybe some of these other students aren't. If that midway through point, that nine week mark, where you go, by the nine weeks, this is how the system works. It's not how I work. And please understand that I'm not saying that after that nine weeks that I want you to not be able to improve. I will still give you opportunities to improve, but do know that between now and then is your window of opportunity to make some changes here and to show me. To show me that you've done the learning.
And then after that point, that stuff's going to be there. Okay. But still, it's not a death sentence or anything like that because we still have these other nine weeks, and I'm still going to spiral in some of these ideas so that you still have opportunities to get credit and all of those things. So in some ways, maybe it could be a bit of a blessing in disguise from the perspective of ... I know I had some students every year, no matter what, and I'm sure Jon, you'd probably agree, it's like in the last week of the school year is when all of a sudden the pressure's on and now they want to do all of this work. And of course I'm going to support them in that work, but I'm going to be real with them and tell them, "We don't have a ton of time."
Like yesterday in the district office, I got a call from a grade 12 student asking for numbers for tutors for their data management exam which was happening three days from then. I don't know if that's going to work out well for you here. So in that scenario, not so hot, but I don't know. I look at that and I think, if you can find a way, if you know the system really well, your students understand the restrictions that you're limited to, is there a way that we can use this as maybe a bit of a motivating factor to not let it go on too long? Because if you get past the halfway point in the year and you haven't already started addressing some of those learning goals, then it's not going to happen anyway, just from a logistical perspective.

Jon Orr: And I think, Kyle, to add on to that, I think one of the most important things you said there at the beginning is making it clear to the students what these numbers mean and how you're going about doing it. Making sure it's completely wide open on your philosophy. And I think when your kids know that, then those numbers that show up online are trying to be reflective of where they are. But if they know that's in flux, it's not such a big deal anymore. So I think more importantly, communicating to the students and also your parents, what your philosophy is on assessment and why that's important is probably the most important thing to do.

Kyle Pearce: And I was just looking to the chat and Kelly had mentioned just this idea of trying to get unmotivated students to do retakes. And I often, I avoid using the term retakes. It can mean so many different things. But I know what it used to mean for me. And I would reprint off a different version of the test and I would hand it out. With standards based grading, the part I love is it's just these two things that you've really struggled with so I only want to talk to you about these two things. If you want to talk about these other things, I can do that with you, but I don't want to remark all the things that you've already proved that you're doing well. I'm still going to assess you on those things later, but right now the urgent need, the urgent student learning need that is at play are these two things right here.
And my descriptive feedback might be that you have struggled with this part, this part, and here's the next step or whatever it might be. Let's chat about that. And I find that by making it a little bit more bite sized, then it's a little less daunting for a student. Now, if a student gets 30% or something, then that's still a lot that ... That's just the reality of it. But even still, that 30% that they've got, let's move beyond that and let's get to the real problem versus them coming in at lunch and us just aimlessly trying to reteach everything. So there's some benefit there as well.

Jon Orr: Yeah. Yeah. And I guess to build onto that, Kyle, and this might not fit Terry's suggestion right away, but maybe helps address Kelly's pebble about convincing students. I've had some success, and I know that Kyle, you used to do this as well when you were teaching your grade nines, is that when we gave that grade ... Because the studies show that if you give a grade and a comment, kids just look at the grade anyway and throw the comment out. I withheld grades from them from seeing that. So I would write comment only based off that research. And I felt like it went really hand in hand with standards based grading to help the kids that normally wouldn't do a retake. Because now it's like, "What's my mark?"
And I don't put it in until it's good. Until it's right. And so they think they're getting a zero or they think it's not up to standards yet. Which I'm saying it's not, but when it is, that's when I will write a grade on it. It's like, "Hey, you've met the standard. Awesome. Now I can put it in." So in our class, it becomes a norm that you're going to get it back and ... Everyone's going to get it back, but you're going to get it back and you have to fix it to the standard. And I'll tell you when you've re reached that standard by the comment you get, and if you've already met the standard, awesome. You don't have to hand that back in. But if you haven't yet, hey, you've got to get there. So you could have really close to the standard. You could have way off. So it becomes this normal thing that we do on a regular basis that have to get that in back in or reassess. So it's almost like a no option. You have to do it. And it helps with the kids who normally would look at it, go, "I got a pass. I'll throw it in the garbage now."

Kyle Pearce: Right. And I think too, something I like there, Jon, about that, and I see Kelly shaking her head yes to that idea is every student is different as well. So Jon thinks is good for that student to put into the computer might be different than the next student. So again, it's not necessarily that everyone's exactly the same. And I'm going to guess, Jon, part of it is probably motivation or effort is probably big in your mind. Like, "You didn't even try. I don't want to put this in because I know you're capable of so much more and I want to see you reach that goal that you can reach to." Terry, I think you were jumping in there. Go ahead.

Terry: It kind of leads to another question I had. One of the things that Jon had said in the video was that ... And I love the idea of the two columns where you write your feedback and then they do their rework. What are the consequences to students who don't do anything to improve once you hand it back to them?

Jon Orr: When I say I don't write down the comment on them and it's mandatory that they hand it back in, you're right. I do have students who don't hand it back in or you're hounding them to get it back in. I still record what grade I think they would get. I just don't write it on the page. So if they don't hand it back in, they get what they got. And when they improve, I will then take that improvement into account. But sometimes it's like, we're going to get the standard, but I also use professional judgment on how consistently they meet that standard. So it's like, they fix it till it's right and it comes back in, but then it might not automatically change that grade right then until I see more consistency along those same lines. But it's still a mandatory thing that you have to get it right. I guess this idea ... Kyle, you and I chatted about this a while ago. This idea is like in English class, kids always got the first draft and then they would hand it in, teacher would give them feedback, they get it back and then they'd write the final draft. That's a thing. But it's not a thing in math class.

Kyle Pearce: Not in math class. Yeah.

Jon Orr: So we might do a quiz, but we can always get the kid towards a right answer. And it's like, okay, just because you got this far now doesn't mean we're done. It means we need to get there. And then you might take a little longer, you might take a little longer, but then we've got to keep pushing along those lines. We can't just say here it is and you're done. That's where kids start to realize, "Well, when I see the number come back, I'm validated. I'm done that thing. I'm going to move on." Instead of seeing mathematics as a continual improvement over of skills over time. And I think we have to help kids realize that.

Kyle Pearce: And I think too, Jon, the other piece is ... And this goes back to that student who maybe isn't taking the feedback. Isn't putting any additional effort in. The hard part is you feel like you're putting all this effort in, and they're not. They're not reciprocating. And that can make you feel bitter. It's a human nature that you're like, "Wow, I'm working so hard and you're not." And one thing that I found really helpful is if you can make almost like an intentional note to yourself of these three students are not following through on my feedback. It's like, what can I do during the class when they're working on a problem for me to try to find some success on this stuff that I asked them to do? And so it's like, I know they didn't put any extra thought into it.
I'm not going to go and reward them for that. But what I do want them to see is that they're improving even though they didn't commit any energy to it. So if I could go and give them just a little bit of that motivation to say, "Wow. I've noticed a significant difference. Do you remember the feedback I told you about? I said, this, this and this. Notice how right here, this is what I'm talking about." And that could be an opportunity for you to help them a little. To almost help them along that journey, that feedback journey. And for them to maybe realize that, "Wow. This change doesn't have to happen by me going home and doing homework by myself." Because sometimes I think kids think that. It's like if the only way for me to improve this is by going home and at 8:00 tonight, I'm going to do an hour of homework.
And it's like, no, we can do these improvements in little small steps throughout the class. So that could be maybe something that you might throw in your repertoire as like, "Okay, today I'm going to be talking to Tom about this and I'm going to try to find something I can glean from that to show him that he's on the right track." And of course I want more out of that student, but I want them to see that, hey, you're heading in the right direction and hopefully get a little bit of motivation.

Jon Orr: Oh. I see a hand here from Stephanie. Stephanie, you have a comment and a chat there, but do you want to chime in here?

Stephanie : Yeah, I do. I have been following you and I just wanted to implement a lot of things. I've been on a journey and I remember seeing something about your standard based, how you would do feedback on a spreadsheet. I don't know if it was you Kyle, or you or-

Jon Orr: Yes.

Stephanie : And I was trying to-

Kyle Pearce: We both did. Yeah.

Stephanie : Learn more about that and how much work that was. Do you still do it?

Jon Orr: Right. Yeah. We can definitely chat about that. Kyle and I, when we first ventured down this pathway with a changing of assessment, kind of like what Terry is doing right now, we built a spreadsheet to track learning goals. And then we customized that spreadsheet with a lot of backend coding that allowed us to share that Google spreadsheet with kids. And we would write comments in for learning goals and it was custom to give them next steps. So we typically don't ... I don't use that format anymore just because it was clunky. Right Kyle? It was great because it was customized to a kid, but also clunky and I think there are better tools that somewhat do what we were trying to do now. I would still argue there's no tool yet that does exactly what Kyle and I were doing with a spreadsheet.

Kyle Pearce: And Jon, when we made these spreadsheets, just to let everybody-

Jon Orr: You got it up?

Kyle Pearce: Everybody know. We did this envisioning that we were going to create an app that did this. That was our goal.

Jon Orr: Eight years ago.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. Exactly. Eight to 10 years ago. And we were like, "Well, we need to figure out what it is exactly we want." And we talked with some developers, we did all kinds of things. And then it was really difficult to get to the place we wanted. So this is just a sample one. It's a copy of something I used, this was probably six or seven years ago.

Jon Orr: Now that looks like your daily sheet, instead of the assessment sheet that we built.

Kyle Pearce: Oh, shoot. Yeah. This isn't the assessment. Darn. But it looked very similar and basically, it would be a public sheet that you could access. Jon would have his own or Tom would have their own or Timothy would have their own. And students could go and see the feedback. And when we updated it, because it was a Google Sheet, basically it would go live right away. So that was a part that we really liked about it. We would just have our computer open and if a student came and had a conversation with us and I was like, "Wow. Great job. Here's that." I could go and type a sentence in to give them a sense of where they were at. Yeah. Here's another version of it. We wouldn't recommend though, going the spreadsheet way.

Jon Orr: Here's the look. You guys can see my screen?

Kyle Pearce: Yeah.

Jon Orr: Yeah. It's probably small to see on your screens. You had our names down the side. And then these big columns across here are learning goals. And so we built it that way and then we would put a grade in here for a learning goal on that particular learning goal and then we would change this over time. So basically it was a big sheet, but we also tied this to a student sheet. So a student would see something like this instead of what we're seeing. But it is-

Kyle Pearce: Yours is broken.

Jon Orr: Yeah. Well, I haven't used this in forever. But it is clunky to set up and that's why we stopped recommending it to people, which probably brings up what do we do now? Basically the whole point of what we are doing is try to communicate to kids where they stand on the learning goals so that they can see what we see and they can contribute to it as well. That's what our sheet didn't allow them to do. So actually, what I use now is Fresh Grade, which is basically a portfolio tool, but I set up the portfolio so that each assignment ... Think of it like a grade book. This is actually the grade book in Fresh Grade. Each of these grades that you set up is a learning goal.
And then I can customize how I assess that learning goal. So I've chosen some stars and some color coding to account for particular grades. And I can go in here and click and change these along the fly as students demonstrate more learning. But what I like about this system is that if we look at a particular kid's portfolio, what they would see is this, and then they can see these, but they can also add to this on their end. They can make comments. And so then when they add evidence of learning, it's visual. It's a collection. Each one of these boxes is a learning goal. So then you can see work that they contribute to it. This is what we use, or I use now, is that students will contribute work here and then when there's more than one picture, I can see them pile up and see how the learning has changed over time and then we can have an ongoing conversation about that learning goal in that little box.
So it's all combined in that setup. I'm liking this better. Now, again, it's not perfect. I think this is the same kid I was just in. I was just trying to go to a different kid and see. It's not perfect. There's things that I could change about it, but it's so far better than things that I've seen and I still find it very functionable for the students to see where they are. And we have this conversation that I was talking about with Terry is trying to make sure you communicate what these numbers or these stars mean to them and how they are changeable and they do fluctuate.
And I think that's one of most important ... But they get to contribute to it, which is a nice thing that was different than our spreadsheet. You can put in things that they can do to upgrade or change, or even you can add some assignments or videos, even, in here to say, "Hey, look, on rates of change, you could be doing these things to improve." Or, "Hey, you need some help." We go watch some videos in here. So this is like a portfolio tool. That's the way they've talked about Fresh Grade and was created for that purpose. And I've just manipulated it a little bit to do what we're trying to do in standards based grading.

Kyle Pearce: Whoa. I muted there.

Jon Orr: Any questions?

Kyle Pearce: I see in the chat ... Yeah. Thanks for sharing there. Timothy was just saying this challenge with trying to assign a grade when you feel like a student could do better, like if they were capable of more or maybe you had seen it demonstrated. And that's where I know, Jon, you and I have over time developed this style of we'd have feedback there, we'd make comments, even for ourself to remind ourselves of things, but we wouldn't necessarily let say a piece of student work, like this piece of student work is this so there's the mark. We would allow those observations and conversations also have an influence or an impact. One thing though that we would always promote is we don't want students to always expect that, "Well, he's seen me do it over here and here and over there, and we've had conversations, so everything's okay and my product that I share, I'm not going to spend a lot of time on it."
So it's kind of like this balancing act of not getting students relying on, "Oh, I'm going to get a higher grade because he's observed me do these things over here so I'm not going to try hard on this thing over here as well." So it's always a balancing act. And I think too, a lot of it's very individual. So it might involve having individual conversations with different students. Like this student you're noticing isn't following through on any feedback. I'm going to maybe have a conversation, try to get to the bottom of why that is. Where this student over here is trying to upgrade every three seconds and you're like, "I can't keep up. I need you to maybe take less opportunities to upgrade and spend more time on the original work. Because it seems as though that you're maybe rushing here and then you're just trying to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade, upgrade." So it's like, okay, let's work with that student to try to help them make their initial product better. That might be the feedback for that student. Not saying they can't upgrade, but we just want to make sure that every student is being addressed and getting the feedback that they need in terms of how do we do this better. Ultimately at the end of the day, I think we all want students to do it really well the first time.
Right? That's where we want you to get to eventually. Like in my job, I don't want to just always have my boss saying, "Oh, I need you to resubmit that. Oh, I need you to resubmit that." So it's a balancing act and of course, you're going to have to find that line with different students, different parents, for example. But I think one of the main keys is that as long ... And I see in caps here, Timothy put in the word believe is what jumps off the screen. As long as you believe in what you're doing and why you're doing it. And if you communicate that to the students and to the parents, if you are clear on that, I feel like the pushback is always so minimal. You might have a couple instances here and there, but I think the key is knowing why you're doing what you're doing.
And it's okay too if at first if you're like, "Listen, I'm experimenting here and I want your feedback, because I want you to help shape how I'm assessing as well." That's good too. But as long as you don't ... I think sometimes we dig in and that's a defense mechanism where we dig in on an idea. Maybe we don't truly believe it yet, but we want to save face. I think when you say, "Hey, I'm trying this for the first time and the reason I'm trying it is because I want that student to get as much out of this class as possible, not to limit marks, not to make life miserable. I want it for the student." I feel like it's so hard for a parent or administrator to come back at you and say something negative. Because they're like, "Wow. It's out of a place of care and you're doing your best to try to be the best you can be for students."

Jon Orr: Yeah. And just to add one thing to that is that I think complaints or pushback happens because a kid might go home and say something to parents that says this is unfair or I don' ... That's usually what I've seen where kids will say that to parent, parent calls the school, parent calls the classroom. "Hey, what's going on here? I'm not sure." And when a student feels threatened like that, that's usually what they do. But if a student feels like you have their best interest at heart and you've explained it, then that's where they won't go home and complain to parents at home. And then all of a sudden there's no calls because there's no complaining and everyone's feeling supported.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. I love it. And from the communication side, I know that in the chat we're talking a little bit differently about having these meetings. Timothy was talking about having individual meetings and almost a mandate by the school or the district. When it comes to the communication with, say, the parents, something as simple as doing a quick screen record or on your phone a quick one minute video just explaining like your philosophy on it and sending that home to the parent, that can go a long way as well. You could have a meeting where parents come in, but I've been there and I know it's usually the parents of the students that you don't really want to talk to necessarily, or need to talk to that show up.
So even just something as simple as that, where you just say, "Hey, this is how we're going to be doing. I don't want any surprises when the first round of grades come out or whatever. Here's how it goes." A lot of students are going to communicate that to their parents, but a lot of students won't. They'll forget. They won't think it's important enough to chat about with their parents. So the quicker you can get them on board, I think the easier your life becomes. And then also, I think you also might get more support at home from parents going, "Hey, did you talk to Mr. Orr about that grade and what you're going to do or that you have been working or whatever it might be?" A lot of times parents are in the dark about that. And they could be giving that extra support to try to nudge students along as well.

Jon Orr: Timothy, you've got your hand up.

Timothy: Yeah, I can-

Jon Orr: Physically.

Timothy: Yeah, I know. I can just reiterate that the parents who came to back to school night that took place two weeks after the school began, teachers would communicate the ideas about everything. I never had a teacher ... Sorry. I never had a parent complain or be worried about the standards based grading because I sold it. I have 10 minutes to sell it. I sold it pretty well. And then the key idea of course, is just that students who learn a skill, get a higher grade based on that. And no parent can really complain with that. The ability to retake things and have their grades go up. It's so humane that parents understand it. So it's really important to get that out to parents right away. Try to get them to be able to say when their student is struggling, "Hey, why don't you do the thing that they talked about at the beginning of the year and try to improve those scores?" It can really help.

Kyle Pearce: I love it. I love it. That's always awesome to hear from the field, from folks who are in the trenches doing that work and I'm right with you on there. And I think too, if you have that chance to have that face to face meeting, parents can sense it in your tone of your voice about how passionate you are about why you're doing what you're doing. It's not easier for you as a teacher. It's harder. There's more work involved. But I think it's more work upfront. Once you're in this routine, though, it makes everything else easier. You don't have those disgruntled parent calls or these challenging situations near the end of the year. It just becomes about learning, which is why we got into this in the first place.

Jon Orr: Awesome. Awesome stuff. Anybody else want to jump in here with a comment?

Kyle Pearce: Good point.

Jon Orr: You're pointing at something.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, no, I'm just looking at the chat. Timothy, just mic drop right there. He just said the only parents who've been nervous about it are the ones with A plus students, top of the class students who are now almost threatened that it's like there'll be more competition. I will say even some of the students sometimes feel that way because they feel like they've been robbed in some way. Like they got it the first time. And the conversation I have, and I know you've had this conversation, Jon, with some students is talking to them about how blessed that per person is. Not saying they never worked hard, but to be able ... I'm like, "Imagine you were that student that had to put an extra six hours in to get not even close to where your grade is the first time."
And you talk about equity and equality and it's a really important conversation, I think, for those students who maybe the math has come naturally to them. Or they've had tutoring since they were young or they have all these extras that maybe some other students don't have. So I always like to bring that up in that conversation with students on day one as well is having that conversation and saying you have to look at it and say, it's not always about you putting in or doing the homework. The homework might have came easy to you, but it's not coming easy to everyone and that means everyone needs to have different opportunities to excel. So good point there, Timothy.

Jon Orr: And I was just typing ... I guess, started typing. Stephanie asked, "What does the assessment course in the academy address?" And so I'll stop typing because I can just answer verbally.

Kyle Pearce: And we know Jon doesn't like typing and talking at the same time. That's not good.

Jon Orr: I can't do two things at once. No. Stephanie, it's a full five modules course, based on our conversation here that we're having, whereas we go through from start to finish how to change your assessment policies, why you should be changing those policies or practices. We give them suggestions and tips and how to's on formative assessment practices. Standards based grading is a full module in there. And then how to set that up. We've touched on this. I go through a couple different lessons on how you can capture marks, how you can change marks. I do a walkthrough on Fresh Grade. I do a walkthrough if you wanted to use Google Slides. I know that some teachers use Google Slides to set up their portfolios. We talk about how to help parents and students buy in to this idea.
So stakeholders, we have some live ... Or not live, but recorded session calls with teachers who have gone through this and use this in their classroom and we break down what they do and how they can improve in there as well. So it's basically a full course on if you're looking for how to change your assessment practices so that you are assessing growth and moving towards helping students understand that assessment should be for growth. That's what we built. So it's that a course based off this. And this conversation doesn't go full depth of what we do in the course, but the course does.

Kyle Pearce: Yep. Lots of great tips in there. And it's one of those things, we've had some academy members who have gone through that course, but then every once in a while they'll go back and relook at a module. It's a process. You can't just take it all in and expect it's just going to all work and fall into place right away.

Jon Orr: Other than the flagship online workshop that Christina's in right now, it's probably the most completed course we have by our members just because it's the natural next step to, "Hey, I'm changing some of my lessons. How do I consolidate that with the way I'm supposed to grade?" And so it's a natural progression to change lessons into grading practices.

Kyle Pearce: Yep. That is that. Nice summary there, Jon. Yeah. So for friends who are in the online workshop, keep in mind, the academy has lots and lots of goodness in there as well. Way too much for you to gobble up in any one school year, as you can probably imagine, those who are in the online workshop. There's a lot in there. We go and do deep dives into some of our other courses as well here, which again are just good to just keep you on your toes and keep you thinking. And sometimes they'll go deeper into ideas that we bring up in the online workshop, but then go in a little bit further. And some of them are very content specific like this one here on proportional relationships, which was a bit of a pet project of ours with our newer understanding of how students are really struggling with a lot of number concepts, including multiplying, dividing and proportions. So lots of learning to be had over on the academy.

Jon Orr: Right, right.

Terry: I'll just say this as somebody who just finished the assessment for growth today, well worth doing it. My only complaint about the whole thing is it was only 10 hours of PD and it took a whole lot longer than 10 hours. Only complaint I have though.

Kyle Pearce: You know what though? You know what we need from friends like you, my friend is if you have a general ... When we go and we throw the hours of PD down, a lot of it is ... It's us estimating. So if you flip us an email ... And this goes for anyone who's taking any of the courses. If you're going, "Wow. It says this many hours, but it actually took me this much time.", that would be really helpful for us because we do hear that a lot, especially for those who truly do answer the questions in the forum and they spend time reflecting and writing things down. That would be really helpful for us as well. So we would be happy to adjust your certificate for whatever that amount is that you feel is what you had put into that course, for sure.

Terry: And I don't want to monopolize because I've talked a lot, but I do have a couple of specific questions I wanted to ask you.

Kyle Pearce: Sure.

Terry: All right. Last year I started trying to do some keeping up with grade level improvement for the whole year. And so if I had a student who improved from a fifth grade level to a seventh grade level, but I had another student who started at eighth grade level, almost made it to ninth grade level. So didn't even complete a full grade level, but almost. Which one of them would you give the better grade to?

Kyle Pearce: Hmm. That's a toughie. That is a toughie, my friend. Now, I think, at least the way we've looked at it has been more because of the standards based that we use we tend to look at it from regards to those specific standards. But you're looking at it more like a grade level, which is a huge growth. Here in Ontario, when we give that grade for, let's say the grade nine de-streamed math course, it's like, here are the components, the standards from that course. And we are assessing based on those standards. So a student could possibly have grown from a grade three level to a grade five level, which is great, but they would still not necessarily perform all that well in the de-streamed course, because so much of the content is above the grade five level. So that is a bit of a challenge.

Jon Orr: Yeah. I was going to say, I think for me, it definitely comes down to the standards and that's what ... Like you said, Kyle, here in Ontario, that's exactly what we have to do based on our policy is that your mark is supposed to represent how well they understand the standards of that course in that year. So yeah, you could have shown significant growth more than somebody else, but did you perform better on the standards consistently than that student?

Terry: Well, I think one thing, Jon, you have got me through the assessment course really digging into my state standards. And one of the ones I found was that we're supposed to meet kids where they are basically. So if I'm meeting them at third grade and I get them to sixth grade in one year, then to me, that's worthwhile. I figure that gives me a little wiggle room by that actually being in the standards. I mean, in the core standards altogether. So to meet them where they are.

Kyle Pearce: And don't get us wrong, we think that's amazing and we would also agree, yes, we need to meet students where they are. But when it does come down to ... I guess the question you have to ask yourself is when you do put that mark down, whether it's after the nine weeks or after the entire course is what does that mean and what were the standards that you were using? So there could be still significant growth in that standard. There might be some significant growth there, but unfortunately for a student who maybe started with very little understanding of all those standards and maybe that student grew a lot compared to this other student who started here, sadly, that result, that final grade is going to look a lot better for the student who started much further ahead.
Heck, that student could have came in here and not learned anything and literally left the course and would still unfortunately have a grade that might be higher than that student who worked their tail off. And we do have learning skills, which is another part of our report card, which is graded on excellent, good, satisfactory, needs improvement. And those there, you might have like E's across the board. Wow. Their responsibility, their self-regulation, all of these things might all be E's, but it's just that student actually entered into this-

Jon Orr: E is good. Good. Excellent.

Kyle Pearce: E is good. Yes. E for excellent. But that student, unfortunately ... I wouldn't want to have a number there that would suggest that student did really well in all of these expectations when that's not actually the case for that particular student.

Terry: Okay. Well, the reason I lead with the grade level growth is our district uses IXL, which can do a lot of assessing by grade level and you can see their growth that way. And so that's why I started using that a good bit. Last year I used it basically as a test grade based on their growth over the year. But I'm just trying to figure out what would be the better. And then I'm just curious, I know you said you have one day a week where you have your learning growth-

Kyle Pearce: Yes.

Terry: You call it. What do you do the other days?

Jon Orr: Well, we teach lessons and we run problem based lessons. We have our kids go through activities and tasks to learn the content. And it's the growth days that are taking the time out to do practice where we need to. It's time to look at where our learning goals are and which learning goal could I choose to improve on. Every other day might look the same as you normally would teach. And this one day is specific to reassessing and addressing and practicing as well, where we need to. Because the students can see, in my class with that program I showed you, where they are, they can choose one to work on and they have some activities that they can work towards or work on to improve.

Terry: That was another thing I wondered.

Jon Orr: And get evidence in to show me, "Hey, I have improved here. I want to show you." And I'm like, "Hey, I'd love to see it. Let's look."

Terry: Does Fresh Grade ... Does it work with the Chromebook okay? Because our kids are not allowed to use a phone in school.

Jon Orr: Yeah. Well, it's web based. The only thing you might want to check is how the camera works with it. I'm sure it does, but-

Terry: Yeah. Do you know if it can be tied in with Schoology? That's our LMS that we've got.

Jon Orr: I think it's ... I wouldn't say tied in. As I said, it's on the web. So you would go to the website and you could do it there. I don't think you're going to get away to tie it into another third party software.

Terry: Okay.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. So you might just have to, when you go to Schoology, you just have to take the important info that you want to be sharing there. Like, if that's how you submit your mark or whatever it is. That might be a bit of a transition.

Jon Orr: Exactly. Like my school doesn't use this Fresh Grade as a thing either. I use it to do what we do and then I take, say, the grade when I need to get the grade and I put it over here in this school system.

Terry: And one last question. I'm going to be quiet.

Kyle Pearce: You're helping us all here Terry. I love it. I love it.

Terry: Because I tried this so much I even tried to require pens. How do you stop students from erasing their mistakes?

Jon Orr: Yeah, it's tough. You know what, I often think of this mostly because I think kids ... This is something that I strive to help them understand. And I think it just comes ... Because you work with high school students, I work with high school students. I think it's probably easier with younger students to try to convince them that. I think they see you as their evaluator and not their coach or their helper or someone who's guiding them to go to wherever they need to go. And when they only see you as an evaluator, they don't want you to see the mistakes because then they think, "Oh, Mr. Orr thinks I don't know what I'm doing." Instead of being like, "Mr. Orr, I don't know what I'm doing. I need help." I think that's why they cover up their mistakes or they erase them before you get over there or before they submit it. And I think when I see that, that's the conversation I have.
It's just a quick conversation and say, "Hey, I'd rather see these than not." Because of these reasons. "Because I want you to see this as a growth relationship. It's not me evaluating you. Yes, I have to put a number down, but that's just where you are based off what we do here." So I think that's why they cover it up and I think that when I've taken that approach, it helps a little bit.

Terry: Even when I made them write in pen, they would scribble it out so hard I couldn't-

Kyle Pearce: Yeah.

Jon Orr: Oh yeah. Yeah. I tried that too, Terry, a number of years ago and I was like, "Ah, doesn't really help."

Kyle Pearce: You know what though? It's like there's two things. We're human and I think none of us ... Jon and I will do some of these Q&A's and every now and again we'll do a math talk and I'll make a mistake and I'm like, "Ah." I get all sweaty. It's a natural response. And imagine, I'm sure you've been there, where you're in front of a class and you're doing something and you do something wrong. And it's like, as much as you want to model how we all make mistakes and how we all learn and it's part of the game, it's still this trigger that happens where you're embarrassed or what are people thinking? And then the second part is that students have gone through, especially when they get to you Terry, you're saying grade 10 and 11 mostly, they've gone through 10 plus years of a system that was like, if I show you a mistake, I lose marks permanently.
That is something that I think takes a really long time for you to get out of your head. It's like, I know sir said that it's not going to count, but it's still embedded. It's still engraved in our minds. So yeah, I think all we can do is we just keep trying to push that we want to be here, we want to help them, and it's all for learning. And it's not perfect. I know it was never perfect when I was doing it, but it was so much better at least compared to what I was doing prior in terms of the results and just the overall mindset and effort that students would give in general. So definitely worth the work and hats off to y'all for doing that work. And special hats off for Timothy, for all the sharing. I know, Kelly, you had been participating a lot in the chat as well with some of your thoughts and your experience as well, which I think is so important for everyone to share what's working for them, what they're working on and everyone's going to pave their own path that's going to work based on their own circumstance.

Jon Orr: All right, everybody. I'm looking at the time here. We are-

Kyle Pearce: Holy smokes.

Jon Orr: Got our chat going on and we are past the hour, which is no problem. No problem. We love chatting. But we want to be respectful of your time. And so if you have thought of any follow up questions, hit that reply in the email, let us know. We can chat through email.

Kyle Pearce: Fire it into the discussion forum.

Jon Orr: Yes. In the academy community area. Or we could save it for next month when we chat again.

Kyle Pearce: I love it. I love it. Friends, it's been awesome. Especially for those of you that are already on summer break. There's some of you. I think Kelly is one of our friends who is not quite at summer yet. The dedication is awesome and we love chatting math with all of you. So carry on, awesome work, and know that your students do appreciate all of this extra thinking and learning that you're doing behind the scenes. So thanks my friends and we'll see you real soon in that community forum.

Jon Orr: Amazing. Thanks everybody. Enjoy your evening.

Kyle Pearce: Well, my friends, as we mentioned in the introduction, I'm sure that there were some great questions, maybe similar questions that you may have had either in the past or maybe some of those questions that you might now have or now be thinking about if you're early on that journey to shift your assessment practices. Jon, what was a takeaway for you here around just standards based grading and getting started? Because something you hear is oftentimes a lot of the questions are almost so detailed that I wonder if ... I want to restate that because I can't even remember what we talked about.

Jon Orr: Well, just pan it to me and I'll just jump in.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, yeah.

Jon Orr: I was ready.

Kyle Pearce: Okay. Here we go.
Outro. Well, there you have at math moment makers. What an awesome opportunity to chat with members from the Making Math Moments That Matter Academy and in particular tied in nicely to our past episode with Tom on assessment. And Jon, what was something from this chat that stuck out to you as maybe something people want to be thinking about as they leave this episode here today?

Jon Orr: Yeah. You know what I thought was great that got pulled in? And I think that this doesn't happen a lot. Now, we definitely go into it in detail in our assessment for growth course. However, in this particular episode, we chatted about what your grade book looks like. And I think that's one of those, "Hey, I want to move to standards based grading." Like in Tom's episode of 189, he's like, "Well, if we're not standards based grading, what are we doing?" And I think that there's that idea of what does that grade book look like? And I think we got a snapshot of that here in this episode. I'm glad that came out in our live Q&A. But it gives some folks some ideas of, "Okay, this is how it can look." And I think that's always important to see these examples.
And I think that was a big takeaway for me to help share that with some of the community that are still wondering. So hopefully we did that here with you folks, and that was one of your takeaways, but we would love to hear what your takeaways are. As always, you can share those in our social media or hey, just hit reply on any of the emails that we send you on a weekly basis and tell us what your big takeaway from this week's episode. Or get on over to the Facebook group, Math Moment Makers K to 12. Share it over there.

Kyle Pearce: Awesome. Awesome. And you know what, a great way you can share is also by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Just recently, we had our friend here saying, "Pushing you to dig deeper about how you teach mathematics." And they go on and share one of their awesome takeaways from a recent episode. And that was a five star rating. You don't understand how helpful it is to share this podcast to a wider audience by just taking a moment, clicking into your podcast app and hitting the five star or whatever star rating you want to do. And of course, taking that extra step and writing a line or two for a review would be fantastic. So thanks a million in advance to those who have already done so.

Jon Orr: In order to ensure you don't miss out on our new episodes as they come out on Monday mornings, hit subscribe. And subscribe over on YouTube as well. We release the video version. So this particular episode had some video content you'll want to check out. Head on over to YouTube, find this episode over there, and you'll be able to watch as well.

Kyle Pearce: Awesome. Show notes, links to resources, and complete transcripts that you can read from the web or download and take with you can be found at makemathmoments.com/episode190. But keep in mind, it's really easy to find. If you just go to makemathmoments.com and click podcast, you can see all of the show notes there. So it'll be nice and easy for you to find the show notes you are looking for. Well, until next time, math moment makers, I'm Kyle Pearce.

Jon Orr: And I'm Jon Orr.

Kyle Pearce: High fives for us.

Jon Orr: And high five for you.

powered by

DOWNLOAD THE MAKE MATH MOMENTS FROM A DISTANCE CHEAT SHEETS

Download the Cheat Sheets in PDF form so you can effectively run problem based lessons from a distance!

MMM From A Distance Cheat Sheets Smaller.001

UP YOUR DISTANCE LEARNING GAME IN THE ACADEMY

There is a LOT to know, understand, and do to Make Math Moments From a Distance.

That’s why so many Math Moment Makers like YOU have joined the Academy for a month ON US!

You heard right: 30 days on us and you can cancel anytime. Dive into our distance learning course now…

Make Math Moments From A Distance Course
LEARN MORE about our Online Workshop: Making Math Moments That Matter: Helping Teachers Build Resilient Problem Solvers.

Thanks For Listening

To help out the show:

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

ONLINE WORKSHOP REGISTRATION

Pedagogically aligned for teachers of K through Grade 12 with content specific examples from Grades 3 through Grade 10.

In our self-paced, 12-week Online Workshop, you'll learn how to craft new and transform your current lessons to Spark Curiosity, Fuel Sense Making, and Ignite Your Teacher Moves to promote resilient problem solvers.