How Do You Grade Effort?

Why do teachers assess effort? Why does it seems so completely subjective? Why do students with an “A+” commonly get a high effort grade when they really aren’t working very hard? Conversely, why do “C+” students get satisfactory effort grades when they are working harder than most others just to maintain their grade? Can the effort grade be truly independent of the achievement grade? How do effort and achievement grades overlap and affect each other? Do students know exactly how their effort grades are being assessed?

Obviously, I have several questions about effort grades. Ideally, I would have all students working to achieve the best effort grades they possibly can. I would also like to take as much subjectivity out of this grade as possible. I also want students to know how I am assessing their effort in my class. It is possible that understanding exactly what skills comprise good effort could help those C+ students work more efficiently and with better achievement results. And in the long run, in regards to work ethics, motivation and resilience, effort grades may even be more important than achievement grades anyhow.

Last year, Judy Van Alstyne  and I created an “Effort Scale” (see image below) that we used with our classes last year. We don’t think it’s perfect, but it gives a place to start. We share it with our students, ask them for feedback so we can tweak it, and have them self assess.

What do you use? What would you change about our effort scale? Please share any ideas or thoughts that you have and rubrics that you use. EffortScale

Tech Tuesday 10.22.13 – Connected Educators Month – Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are a great way for educators to stay current in a specific content area, or about educational topics in general.

THE Journal was the first magazine to cover education technology. In September, Susan Bearden wrote an article called, 13 Great Twitter Chats Every Educator Should Check Out. If you are unfamiliar with Twitter and or Twitter chats, this is a great place to start.

Cybrary Man, Jerry Blumengarten, has a great site with resources for educators. Here is a link to his page for Educational Chats on Twitter.

Below are some direct links to Twitter Chats. You can use a tool like Twubs to filter a specific chat or hashtag like #edchat. You do NOT need to have a Twitter account to access the conversation. You do need an account if you wish to participate.

Education – EdChat

Math – MathChat

English – EngChat

Educational Technology – EdTechChat

Kindergarten/Early Childhood – KinderChat

Elementary Education – ElemChat