Practice vs. assessed work

Assessing every phase of student work can stifle innovation but not grading and calling it practice can yield innovation & amazing results.

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I have been weighing my grading heavily on summative assessments and not putting much weight on formative assessments.  This gives my students time to practice and innovate without having the fear of a low grade impact their thinking.  The rituals and routines that need to be embedded in the classroom with this type of grading system revolve around creating a culture where all students are expected to contribute, try, stumble, try again, lean on each other to figure out the formative assessments.  When students hear that formative assessment "don't count that much toward their grade" they think they don't have to do them.  The trick is to make the formative assessments engaging and connected to the learning goals of the class.  It's also really important to give detailed feedback so they feel that you care and are connected to the work they are doing.  

Digital Tools I use to create rituals and routines around formative assessments (we're 1:1 iPads):

Google Classroom for workflow - there is nothing more frustrating for students than to do something so cool and then have issues turning it in.  Google Classroom has made a huge difference in workflow in my classroom.

Notability and Paper by 53 for brainstorming - students can do brainstorming on their own and turn it in via Classroom so I can help guide them as they work on projects.

Google Docs and Slides for collaboration - again, easy to turn in to me so I can give encouragement to groups and be sure they are on track.

Explain Everything and Vidra for showing what they know.


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Photo of Jessica Lura

This is an awesome inspiration that I can see being developed into an idea--you should add it as a post in the ideate stage (happening right now)--between your idea & Mark's comments, I could see this being a really interesting idea to test out.

There's even a tips & strategies for ideating video ( ) that could be helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

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