Yes, I still grade and give grades, but there has been a huge shift away from a number of grades into more feedback. Lots more feedback. And this is at the center of the TG2 group, finding ways to have students focus on learning and growing and not playing the grades game.
I’ve expressed before how using the writer’s workshop model has been an otherwise solo adventure. When my former student became my teaching partner, fully bought into the ideology of student choice and voice, pushed me into the greater realm of efficient work flow with technolgy, our classrooms exploded with even more possiblity. All of this work made me seek more connections. I started blogging with no purpose other than to spit out my thoughts as they were churning. Then, I pushed out my blog onto social media platforms. My Twitter connections grew, and I got involved in amazing conversations, chats, blog-sharing, and ultra-learning.
And I got connected, thanks to a local teacher, ironically, to the TG2chat folks. We connect via a private Facebook group, a public Twitter group, and a private Twitter chat. How lucky I am to be a part of all these great minds and hearts. I’m learning, and I’ll say this, as selfish as it sounds: It’s comforting to have my thinking and ideology validated.
So, this blog I wrote for this group was a huge learning experience for me. I got pushed in all ways from thinking to using Wordpress and learning all kinds of new-to-me terms with technology and social media. This old dog keeps learning.
Here is the blog I wrote for TG2Chat. In keeping with the conventions of their blog platform, I left out my goals and gratitude.
Goals: Keep up this learning pace.
Gratitude: That I get to keep learning. Oh, and also, that our new kitten is so sweet, and the cats are all settling into a mutual respect with hints of more fun to come.