What Are Grades and What Do They Mean?

Tonight’s #flipclass chat is about Grades and Stuff.  But what are grades? Grades in my opinion are a score that tells the student how well they played the game of school. Some are really good at it and some do just enough.  Today I had a student reach a C in my class and he said “good enough”.  How do we change this mentality when it has in my case been ingrained for the last 11-12 years.  And in this era of standardized testing what do grade really show.  Are we preparing them to take the “tests” or get ready for the real world? In most cases we are told the tests don’t matter but we have to still prepare them because their scores reflect on the school and district.  And this year we found out that the scores on the “test that does count” (at least on school & teacher grades) does count for funding purposes. So what do grades really mean?

I think we need to look at the assignments first. Do they have meaning? In my class much of the material is new so vocabulary knowledge is important. So does a list of terms count as a good assignment? I can give questions on the topics but again it is for learning the basics before we can go on to bigger and more complex problems. So are these good assignments deserving of grades? What grades do I give? Completion grades?

So I feel without good meaningful assignments grades are just part of the game that show how well the student played it or how much they cared about it.

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