Online gradebooks are a lot like crack

If you are a parent and want to enjoy good mental health, for as long as possible, stay away from online gradebooks....more

Report Card. How Do I Help?

Report Card.  How Do I Help?But Montague is bound as well as I, In penalty alike, and 'tis not hard, I think, For men so old as we to keep the peace.  ~Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1.2.1-3)...more

Exam time: I'm not "giving" grades

“Where did you see the score??”“She just posted them.”“When? I just looked awhile ago.”“No, like just posted.”I listened as awareness and surreptitious online gradebook checking rippled throughout the room before class started.Damn. Our first meeting in 10 days and the atmosphere felt dark and pensive. Not the way I wanted to begin the semester’s last hurrah....more
Songs of Home Frustrating. While I appreciate their ability to keep track of grades along the ...more

Expecting your children to make the grade

As mentioned before in this blog, my Mom told me that my job was to be a good student. She expected me to make excellent grades, and she was clear on her expectations. (Not Tiger Mother level of expectations, but her point was clear.) She told me I was smart; I believed her; I did well in school....more

Did you really earn that grade?

My son had a spelling test the other day (never mind that he is only four). He came home with a lollipop and a reward report saying that he spelled all his sight words correctly. Except: He didn't....more

Long-term study on exercise improving kids' cognitive skills

There have been quite a few short-term studies on exercise and improved cognitive skills, but these researchers wanted a long-term study that proved causation (not just association). So they went to an elementary school and recruited 220 kids between 8 and 9. (This is thought to be an important age because it's when the brain "experiences a leap" in executive function.)...more

Making The Grade?

Sally has homework about 3 times a week.  She tends to struggle with it.  She also does poorly on her assessments and has to make test corrections.  At the end of the grading period, Sally brings home her report card and has a shining B average.  Her parents are so proud of her for bringing up her grade.  But Sally stands in amazement because she doesn't understand how her grade improved.  She still does not understand the concepts they are learning in class.  So what's wrong with this situation?...more

Why Good Grades Don't Matter as Much as You Think

When I went to school, it was all about getting good grades. I complied. I graduated at the top of everything. Yet, when I entered the work world, very little of that mattered. A career is a whole different ball of wax that standard education doesn't really prepare you for. Christine of The Dirty 30s has a really fascinating take on why good grades aren't everything. She says, ...more
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Bedtime Motivational Tactics for Good Grades

A few weeks back, the husband and I resorted to some new tactics in the battle over grades with our middle schoolers. Here's what we came up with:...more