Step 7B: How to Grade for Growth

Grading for Growth in a High-Stakes World: This short blog post from the Mindset Works website provides an overview of classroom practices that help students to develop a growth mindset view of feedback and grades.

After reading the article and a selection of comments posted by other educators, share one specific, practical change you are inspired to make to a grading or assessment practice you currently use.

986 thoughts on “Step 7B: How to Grade for Growth

  1. Francisco Robles says:

    By reading this article I learn that I should be grading from standard base rather than a letter or number base on a test or single task performed. I will be changing my grading practices from now on.


  2. jali says:

    Through all our readings and discussions, I can see how changing a teacher’s grading practice in one or various ways may greatly impact student learning. LIke the article, Grading for growth in a high-stakes world mentioned, I am very interested in working with teachers in creating different kinds of incentives that promote other important aspects of the learning process, like recognizing effort,
    thoroughness, creative approaches, resourcefulness, persistence, and helping others.
    I think most of our students will benefit from the stringent or routine assignments and welcome other ways of recognizing their learning effort.


    • jali says:

      Correction – I think most of our students will benefit from GETTING AWAY from stringent or routine assignments and welcome other ways of recognizing their learning effort.


  3. John Campbell says:

    In the article “Grading for Growth in a High-Stakes World” I was struck by the statement “The word is more than the score.” The comments written on the paper by the teacher can tell the student a lot more than just a number. This gives the student direction. A score looks like a final grade that is unchangeable. But a comment is more of a road sign.


  4. Janet Lee-Ortiz says:

    I can work on not giving grades for every assignment. I find that I already practice the other tips mentioned in the blog. I can definitely continue providing feedback, but not affix any rubric grade onto it. I’m excited to do this!


  5. Roxana SEHS says:

    “The word is more powerful than the score (but only if you keep them apart.” This section really spoke to me. I see this all the time in my classroom. I will put soooo much effort into providing meaningful feedback, but if there is a grade printed on the work then they will completely ignore my comments.

    This is a grading shift that I will definitely be doing from now on. I will provide only written feedback on assignments that I would like my students to revise or revisit.

    Now, if only I could actually get my students to revise and revisit.


  6. jose cervantes says:

    After reading the article, I will try to grade for learning instead of grading for a letter. Grading should be about how much students have learned. As a teacher, it huts me to see that some of my students are getting”A” s in my classes; yet, this grade does not reflect how much they have learned. Although these students are getting good grades, they are still struggling to learn English.My current grading system is not doing them any favors because they are not being prepared for college despite their good grades. I need to start creating assessments that will reflect how much they have learned. Equally important, I have to adapt a grading system that will provide students the feedback that they need to improve, and the system that reflects what they have learned. Until then students will continue to receive letter grades instead of learning and progress grades.


  7. Anna says:

    A practical change that I have made is to give written feedback in a positive format—without the score/grade. Once a student views the score, she/he might become discouraged and shut down, thus possibly invalidating any attempts to reteach misconceptions about the material. If I eliminate the score and write a constructive comment/feedback, I believe students will respond in a more positive manner and want to redo the missed assignments with supports as needed and have the purpose of understanding the concept—lessening the grade factor.


  8. Terry says:

    She says that we should put a part in the assessment that will show the growth a student has made which will assure the student that they are being assessed on their actual growth. This will make them secure in the process.


  9. Matthew Holtzman says:

    After reading Grading for Growth in a High-Stakes World, I really enjoyed, “The word is more powerful than the Score.” In this section the author describes the importance of comments on assignments when they are return to the students. Additionally that students are much more likely to read the comments if there is no score written on the assignment. I find tremendous value in providing written feedback because it gives direction to a student to improve. Additionally I remember being a student and I always enjoyed reading comments on my paper, especially after spending a great deal of time on an assignment. It made the sacrifice I made to create the assignment worth it and gave me a sense of importance to continue to improve.


  10. Suzanne Silverstein says:

    After reading “Grading for Growth in a High Stakes World”, I saw two places I’ve started to improve. I conference with students one-on one with their writing, choosing 3-4 things they can do to improve their piece. It gives them a chance to improve their work before it is evaluated for a grade. Plus, by limiting the “corrections” the students do not get overwhelmed and shut down. Another place for my own growth is to use more kid-friendly rubrics. I know what I expect, but they need to be able to understand it too!


  11. Herminia Rivero Henwood says:

    After reading the article, one specific, practical change I want to make is making assessment a learning experience for my young students. Kindergarten have more tests and assessments in this time than before. I hope to give greater learning to my students, instead of just recognition, and memorization, by actively recall, deeper thinking by using different strategies and being able to talk or explain about it.


  12. Ani Perez says:

    After reading the article, I would have to say that a practical change I am inspired to make to a grading or assessment practice I currently use is to create multiple opportunities for mastery. Although, I often use students’ prior knowledge to drive my instruction, at times I get caught up in calendars and set curriculum maps that I lose sight of giving students numerous opportunities to master a learning goal. I have to slow down and make sure that I am reaching all students and that they have many opportunities to show what they have learned throughout the year.


  13. Sandra says:

    After reading the article, one thing that I will change will be using the language of growth. Most of the times, students just receive grades without being acknowledge of their hard work, they might study hard or practice at home before the test. Positive feedback will help them with their self-esteem and to believe in themselves. It is important that the teacher give them positive feedback for their small improvement or their learning strategies/efforts.


  14. Alvita Sarkisyan says:

    I think that one practice that I would like to incorporate in my teaching practice is “The Word is more powerful than the score”, where you provide actual feedback to the student, without assigning a grade. I think students benefit from feedback so much more than just a grade, because they know exactly what they need to improve on, or what they did well in.


  15. iCAN says:

    After reading this article, I was reminded that clear objectives and expectations are essential for students. I use rubrics and standards in kid friendly language and find that my students do take ownership of their learning. I can improve in the area of “grading everything.” I try to provide immediate feedback on tests and assignments and when it takes me more than 24 hours to do so, my students ask if I have corrected the test. If I change that practice, I will be more able to focus on student growth rather than scores.


  16. Saray Aguirre says:

    After reading the article “Grading for Growth in a high-Stakes World” one practical change that I am inspired to make is “Dispel the Mystery.” This year I am honored to teach TK/K however when it comes to using appropriate academic language and making kid friendly it has been a little challenging. Therefore I would like to focus on the language and make sure students feel empowered and own their own grades.


  17. Sara Roof (Millikan MS) says:

    After reading the article, one specific, practical change I am inspired to make to my current grading and assessment practices is to use student-friendly wording in the standards and rubrics so that my students are aware and can understand what their goals are (to learn and do). So often, it seems that many students “zone out” when being given details of a new assignment or upcoming test/quiz. I get asked, “Why do we have to do this?” or “What’s the point of this (assignment)?” At our last training, I noticed that the rubrics on how well we cook were in terms that were easy for anyone to understand and identify with. I liked that they used “I” statements, rather than “student” or “person”. I think students will respond better and understand their responsibilities more when we allow them the opportunity to realize why they are being given certain assignments.


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