One of my primary goals this year is to make my gradebook as clear and meaningful as possible. This has proved more challenging than I imagined. Since the standards are the focus of my students’ learning, the gradebook should reflect that. PowerSchool makes it possible for teachers to attach standards to assignments and clearly track students progress. However, in order for students or parents to see the standards, they have to navigate to another page within the PowerSchool portal. Ok, that’s not so difficult, and teaching parents and students where to find this page isn’t a big deal. But will students really care to look at that standards page? Additionally, the standards are stated with academic edu-jargon, so I wouldn’t expect parents and students to fully comprehend them.
So I’ve chosen to include generic student-friendly descriptions of standards in what normally would be an “assignment” in PowerSchool. When students check their grades, they immediately see the current standards we’re working on for a particular unit of study. I feel confident that this approach is making the gradebook more meaningful because the emphasis is on the learning goals (the destination) versus the assignments (the vehicle). On the other hand, this method is causing some confusion because students 1) simply aren’t used to it and 2) they haven’t made a clear connection between our learning targets and individual assessments. This is something I need to work on.
And so it goes.
What’s more meaningful?