Dealing with the fear of being a boring teacher.


Top 10

These are the best 10 posts that this blog has to offer. They run the gamut of things discussed here, which includes assessment reform, progressive lesson design, and general education tomfoolery.

  1. Sorting M&M’s (Motivation and Grading)
  2. I Make My Own Bacon: How I Learned to Love Assessment
  3. To Drop or Not to Drop: A Well Tempered Discussion (Dropping the lowest score)
  4. Standards-Based Grading: Lowering Grades?
  5. “Standards-Based Grading” != “Retesting”
  6. Banana Batteries & Dan Meyer
  7. Did I Mention My Double-Major in Star Trek and Dungeons & Dragons?
  8. Riled Up: Stop Grading Homework, Please
  9. Standards-Based Grading: FAQ
  10. So, It Turns Out, Teaching Is Hard.


  1. Stacey June 5, 2012 - 5:02 pm Reply

    Is our quandary arising over the fact that in education, we always say that students earn their points, when in fact all they do is lose points. If they actually earned them, wouldn’t they start from zero and build up?

    It would be so much easier to devise a grading system if points were actual demarcations of objectives (standards) mastered. Instead, we propose (and essentially front-load the expected points) they master 100% of the standards and dock for anything less.

    Or are the points essentially on loan, and if their grade goes down it means their collateral (learning) diminishes in value?

    Saying that, if a student does absolutely nothing, should they get a zero? What does a zero mean to a student who hasn’t already made the connect between the points system and the learning involved?

    If they don’t get it, most students don’t, what’s the point (no pun intended) anyway? I’ve only been teaching 10 years, and every year I notice this disconnect, and the current system is only making it worse. I love reading this stuff and trying to incorporate it into my system.

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