Here we are at the end of another school year – an interesting end, nonetheless.
For the majority of us, distance learning became a full time deal. Some weathered it well, and some not so much.
If you do nothing else RIGHT as school ends (heck, we know you just want it to be done already!)… PLEASE, PLEASE, print your grades! We’re not talking about just the letter grade. We’re talking about the FULL DETAILED VIEW. EVERY assignment, and preferably category averages as well.
But, why, Lisa? I thought you said grades weren’t everything? No. They most certainly are not. However, they ARE one of our biggest indicators not only of success/achieving goals, but also of the impact of our actions as well. Truly analyzing grades helps us to identify reasons for challenges and opportunities for improvement. From there, we can strategize and problem solve.
Not long after school ends, however, they go away. Never to be seen or heard from again. Well, of course they’re on the transcript, but the FULL details go away, and we’ll have lost that opportunity to analyze, learn, and plan. Year after year, we have students and parents kicking themselves at the missed opportunity here. So, please, make a note to do this right as the year ends.
So, what should we DO with these printouts? For now? Take the action steps below OR put them aside. It’s best to do it while fresh, but can be done anytime over the summer.
And yes. Printing is best, this way students can go through and highlight patterns for themselves. When they SEE it in black and white, it’s much more powerful and “real”.
Once grades are printed, students go through and highlight grades and categories that didn’t turn out quite as planned or desired – you can even color code (late work, missing work, low grade – or quiz/test, assignment, project, etc.). Once done highlighting, it’s time to analyze. Look for patterns and trends, and for each highlighted item, ask yourself (or your student) what was the main reason this is highlighted (ie. forgot to turn it in, didn’t get it done on time, didn’t understand the unit, forgot to do it, etc.)? You can also use this great tool for guidance [free download–>] Grade Analysis
When done, we can THEN ask “the annoying why’s”…
WHY didn’t you turn that in? I forgot. WHY did you forget? I didn’t write it down. WHY didn’t you write it down? I didn’t have anywhere to write it OR I thought I could remember. WHY did you not have anywhere to write it? I didn’t have/am not using my planner. WHY are you not using it/keeping it with you? I thought I could remember things OR it takes too much time…
This can lead into a discussion around how it felt to feel the effects of this choice. Did it turn out how we wanted? What could be done differently? How important is this?
Next we can problem solve and strategize by asking the WWIT’s (What Will It TAKE?) – similar to the above, we repeat until we find some concrete action steps.
Ok, so you’d like to use your planner – what will it take? I have to keep it with me and write in it. What will THAT take? I should set alarms in the morning and take it out every class period. What will THAT take? I need to maybe set alarms to remind me to use it? or I can put it in front of my backpack or always carry it and take it out. What will THAT take? I need to remember how important it is. What will THAT take? I should remind myself how it feels to get lower grades than I want when I could have avoided it. Great. What will THAT take? I should ask for your help and make a big sticky note sign on my mirror to remind me – and write a note in my planner…
You get the drift. It’s very powerful and can be done for each and every observation until real, practical action steps are determined. Then, it’s time to put together plans and start practicing.
We’re here if you have questions, and know you may be tired of e-learning and ready for summer already. When you’re ready to do some planning, just let us know if you need some support – or check out all of our great social media and blog posts.
Stay healthy and safe!