crazy

Grades go in this week.
I hate grades. They’re a necessary evil, but I’m not sure how much they show about my students and what they know or don’t know.
My staffs know what my expectations are. If they’re not making As, I wonder what they’re doing in the program. Yearbook and newspaper are fun. They’re time consuming. They’re not required. If I have a kid on staff not making As I tell them to go take Home Ec. They’ll learn a lot about life and deadlines won’t reach out and smack them around. Usually that’s the only reason a staff kid doesn’t make the grade. They got in a fight with deadline and deadline won.
But my beginning classes are completely different. I have a mix of kids who wonder what in the world they’re doing stuck in some class called journalism. Or they’re excited and want to be on staff one day. Or they could care less about school. Regardless of which student they are, journalism is usually a new form of communication. Facts. Quotes. Transitions. Themes. They can’t believe it when I tell them they have to tell me what the story’s about and they have 30 words to do it and those 30 words have to fit in one sentence.
They’re just not used to hearing less is more when it comes to the written word.
I’m fully aware of this. So I’ve developed this crazy grading plan that works great for my students but nearly kills me. I let the kids revise their papers as often as they’d like to get them to As. I figure if they revise a paper three or four times but get it right and then get all papers right from then on, they’ve learned and that’s what matters.
The kids can’t believe it when I tell them as long as they meet deadline they have the opportunity to revise and revise until they get the A.
And at first, they think it’s the best thing ever. Until I give them revise papers three and four times. By the fifth or sixth time they’re writing a story, they pretty much hate it.
And I have about a thousand and ten of those papers they hate but keep revising to grade between now and Wednesday.
And if it goes as it usually does, those papers will finally be As. And once again my class will look like the easiest class in the building because even the kids who hate school are making As.
I can only hope. 🙂

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