No matter how tough, no matter what kind of outside pressure, no matter how many bad breaks along the way, I must keep my sights on the final goal, to win, win, win — and with more love and passion than the world has ever witnessed in any performance.
Billie Jean King
I recently attended a talk by Billie Jean King. Someone asked her how she dealt with failure. She may be the first person I’ve ever seen reject the word itself. She said,
I don’t like the word failure — I don’t use it much. All failure is really feedback. When the tennis ball lands six inches over the line, that’s feedback. It can teach me something about how to make the next shot better. The thing is, I’ll never get or make the same shot twice. But I can learn from every one of them.
She explained how once she started substituting the word feedback for failure, everything changed in her approach. Things didn’t go wrong, as much as they became surprising. And she was much more open to strategies for improving in the future.
Adam Grant, author of Originals, says you have to live your life determined to make the “second score” the one that you focus on the most. He is a college professor, and he explains that he occasionally receives harsh criticism from some students on evaluations after a class is completed. That’s the first score. The experience is done — he can’t change it. But he does control the second score — how he responds to the criticism and changes his actions or beliefs.
Failure and feedback, first and second scores. King and Grant remind me that there are so many negatives in the world I have no control over. But I can change the way I view them, and I have control over my response. And some days, a little adjustment in outlook is all I need to find my way.
This week we look at assessment and grading. Plus more as always — enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
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Katherine Sokolowski finds grading student work in her fifth-grade classroom becomes far more interesting when students take responsibility for choosing what will be graded:
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share strategies for getting the most out of end-of-year assessments, even those that are most likely to gather dust after they are administered:
What matters, how do we assess it, and how does the assessment enhance learning? Jay McTighe distills measuring learning down to three essential components:
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Ruth Ayres explains how data can make students and teachers feel empowered or deflated — so much depends on what you are looking for and how you present it:
In this week’s video, Katrina Edwards confers with first grader Wyatt about his goal of increasing the volume of his reading, helping him self-assess what’s going well and what lies ahead:
Benchmark assessments can be incredibly time-consuming for teachers to complete. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills describe how they leverage the time spent by using the assessments in strategy conferences with students:
Asking students to assess and grade their own work cements learning and deepens understanding for many students, but only if it is done in a thoughtful, collaborative way. Melanie Meehan takes you step-by-step through the process in a fifth-grade classroom:
In an encore video, Aimee Buckner asks students who might want a little more information or help after the whole-class lesson on the “Rule of 3” in writing to stay for small-group instruction. She explains how she quickly assesses in the midst and scaffolds students to ensure success during independent work:
That’s all for this week!