Thursday, October 13, 2011


I was watching a re-run of The Wonder Years the other day. (I had forgotten how much I love that show!) It was one of the later episodes, Kevin was a sophomore in high school. The storyline was all about an English class with a teacher who didn't abide by the normal rules. She changed the reading list, cutting out "Ivanhoe" and replacing it with "Cather in the Rye"; she didn't take attendance; and didn't give normal grades, only pass/no pass. After pressure from the administration, she decided to give "normal grades" - well, kind of. She allowed the students to select their own grades.  Why do I mention this? After this episode, my kids mentioned that their music teacher does the same thing. They are responsible for grading themselves every day. There are two catagories for the grades, with 5 points possible in each catagory. They grade themselves 1-5 in how well they did in class - how well they listened, followed directions, etc. And then they give themselves up to 5 points based on how prepared they were for class - did they bring a pencil, their book, their instrument, etc.
I was really surprised -- this is a pretty big responsibility to give to 8 and 9 year olds. Of course, I was curious what kind of thought was going into the process. Were they just giving themselves As because they could? Nathan said that he's given himself straight 5s with how well he does in class but that he's had to give himself a couple 4s because of forgetting his pencil. Chloe said she has given herself all 5s, but that she hasn't forgotten anything. :)
I was impressed that real thought and real honesty were at work in this process. I talked to the kids about integrity and how proud I was of them for doing the right thing, even when there were no real consequences for lying and even when their grades were on the line. I just love my kiddos so much! What a blessing they are to my heart!

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