The fall has been quick. We’ve been required to use GradeQuick as a grading program but this is the first year that information opened up to parents and students. In the past, progress reports, printed by teachers, went home regularly and the physical act of handing reports to students nudged me to do more. The act was twofold: I handed out the progress report and students then logged progress on standards into a tracking sheet.
My tracking sheets now languish on the sidelines as I’ve fallen into the trap that students have access to the information online so it is easy for them to stay up-to-date. Whoa! Stop right there and remember the students in years’ past that quickly filed away progress reports without a second glance. The tracking sheets made them look at current levels and set goals. Now there is no accountability. The students who barely looked at reports in class are likely not hopping online to check each time reports are updated.
I feel that instead of getting students more involved in progress, the lack of accountability lets most ignore what is happening. A key element of a standards-based system is that students must be part of the conversation about their learning. I need to bring the active tracking back to my classroom. At the moment, I think I have to go back to regularly printing out updates but look forward to finding new solutions.