The Grading Don'ts That Saved My Classroom

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Tyler was determined to "get" algebraic equations. He was the first to hustle to the kidney table for small-group math review. He sacrificed recesses to practice. He even came to school early to study before the test.

It was heart-wrenching when I had to pass him back a C and not the B that I knew Tyler had been longing for. His reaction stopped me dead in my grading-paradigm tracks.

"Mrs. Larson, are the problems from this test going to be in our math centers for the next unit?"

"They sure are, Tyler," I responded with a bit of skepticism. Why wasn't he asking me if he could improve his grade?

"Good. Because I didn't do so well, and I really need to keep practicing until I get it right!"

What? Did this kid just tell me that he cares more about the math skills than he does about the grade going home?

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