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May 12, 2021

Super Hero Ninja Grader

It’s been over a week since I last checked in with you. I’m still over here in the piles of paperwork. If I had a super power I’d like to either have super speed or being a ninja, tackling all this grading. 

We finished state testing. We have 2.5 weeks until summer. 13 school days until the bell rings for blessed vacation. But yet, there is so much to do.  

This Friday is the cut off for grading. The report card portal opens tomorrow to start filling it in. I went lite with homework this week. We are taking tests (math and reading) during class, and the final projects for social studies and science are done in class too. Presentations, group things, etc. At least the stuff that is being graded. Really the kids are just needing to upload after class. They need a break, and a chance to catch up. I’m really tired of nagging. 

There have been a lot of missing assignments these last few weeks with state testing. We were still moving forward and having homework during asynchronous time. Some kids “seemed” to completely forget their responsibilities. I had recorded mini lessons to walk the kids through the material that they had to do independently. But even with daily and weekly reminders some still didn’t turn it in.

So my nagging moved next level with the weekly countdown of reminders to parents about due dates and cut offs. The reminder that I want to give credit and kids can redo assignments. That I care about their kid. That I know their kid can do better. 

Then I have been sticking the grades front and center in the kid’s private channels. Some don’t have their own access to view grades without their parents’ help. The reminder to the kids about GPAs and the award criteria. They want awards, which means they have the earn them. Finish strong...

Since we are standards based, we allow kids to redo assignments as they feel more confident to bump up their scores. It gives them motivation to succeed. Motivation to grow. Motivation to not give up, because grades aren’t set in stone until the cut off dates. 

I feel like I’m knee deep in strategy sessions with the kids. 

“Did you get a 3 last time? Well check the rubric one more time. Did you forget to do one part to extend your answer? Can you aim for a 4?”

“Did you get a 2 last time? You were so close to achieving proficiency. We’ve been reviewing that, want to try again?”

“Did you get a 1 last time? What have you been doing to learn that material better? Did you do all the parts of the question? Let’s reread the directions together.”

“I’d focus on your reading/math/writing scores... I know you know that now... Check the rubrics one more time, is there anything else you can add or change?” It makes my day when kids are popping onto our afternoon question sessions to want to improve. Maybe they will remember that motivation next year. 

But Friday is coming. And the moments of grading are almost complete, and I can celebrate them on the report cards. Then we can have some fun to wrap up the year.  Finish strong.

Hope you have a great day!

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