Get on their level! Incorporate their interests into the classroom and watch your scholars grow.

Finding a solution to keeping scholars motivated, even when they aren’t doing so great!

Photo of Rosemary Vargas
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Pretend you are 13-ish. Somewhere between Middle school and High school . You sit in class biting your nails as you wait for your math teacher to hand you last weeks test.  Instead of getting an 80 you get a hilarious meme of a monkey showing his full set of teeth, paper clipped to the top of your exam.  You laugh it off, knowing you did well and instantly love math class. Imagine you didn’t do so great and ended up with a crying baby meme.  You would still laugh it off, continue to have a great school day, with a positive attitude . In this day and age, where bullying in schools is so common, we need to try to remind our scholars, that school isn’t all bad. I truly believe a teachers grading method has a lot to do with how encouraged and motivated a student is. 

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Upon having a conversation with my teenage daughter, I noted she felt she was horrible at Math. She would get a 70 and come home devastated. I would tell her we just had to work harder and I would help her study. The next day, she came home with a Chemistry exam graded a C. She felt like ok, I can get a B next time, and would stay positive. A C is equivalent to a 70. We stumbled upon this discussion and strategized on how important the grading method is from a scholars point of view.

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Photo of Paul Kim
Team

Rosemary. I like the foundation of your thinking here. I am wondering if you can think of ways that parents and teachers can work together to remove stigmas from grades and focus on growth and learning -- maybe using some humor via memes. I hope you will add to your idea!

Photo of John Faig
Team

n@Paul Kim, I think the only way to take the focus off of grades is to provide alternate (or supplementary) competency-based report cards. This way, students can show their growth and include their passions.

Photo of Jessica Lura
Team

It might be interesting to involve students in the humor part of this equation, perhaps as part of their self-reflection around the assignment, how well they did, and how they feel.

Photo of Rosemary Vargas
Team

Very true. I think our grading system is to broad. There are many different subjects covered in each semester. I believe report cards should be more specific as to what the student is struggling with and not give them a C because they were at C level while doing fractions if they were at an A level in percentages. There needs to be a format whereby parents can specifically see what their child is having a hard time with so they can provide the proper support at home.

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