Intersections: Quietly Revolutionary

October 26, 2016 by Bill Ivey

Varied Assessment: Continuous, authentic, and appropriate assessment measures, including both formative and summative ones, provide evidence about every student's learning progress. Such information helps students, teachers, and family members select immediate learning goals and plan further education. - from This We Believe, the 16 research-based characteristics of successful middle schools, published by the Association for Middle Level Education

Dear Middle School Team,

I sit here with a feeling of quiet pride. What we accomplished yesterday would be considered revolutionary in many schools, not just the decision we took but also the means by which we came to this point. And, as is always the case with us, it was a decision that put our students front and center while also keeping in mind and having consideration for the multiple perspectives of everyone involved.

Filed Under: Middle School, Middle Level Education, Education, Assessment, Intersections, Rick Wormeli

We have no grades!

March 02, 2015 by Bill Ivey

“(...) And you should come here because we have no grades!” - from an impromptu song by Nikki ‘20

As one part of each unit designed by Humanities 7 students, each student is asked to choose a “Focus Question” to learn about on her own. She researches the question, writes an essay, and makes a presentation to the class. Every year, on the first essay, I find students who can already write effective thesis statements, students who have no idea what a thesis statement is, and everything in between. By the second draft, after conversing with me, they all have effective thesis statements for that first essay, and a few more of them than before jump right in with an effective thesis statement on the first draft of the next essay. But not all. By the end of the year, though, they’ve all got it down, and so as they move on to Humanities 8, Karen knows she can depend on them to have this skill.

Filed Under: On Education, Feminism, Assessment, Standards-Based Assessment