Going “Gradeless”: Equitable Assessment Strategies for the Reading and Writing Classroom

Going “gradeless” is becoming a popular approach as educators work to provide more equitable and authentic assessment and feedback that support all students. This presentation shares the experiences of a collection of middle school, high school, and college teachers who implemented various approaches to equitable grading, including going gradeless/pointless (Guskey, 2015; Zerwin, 2020), ungrading (Blum, 2020), and labor-based grading (Inoue, 2019a). In this presentation, we will share our findings and experiences with an emphasis on gradeless assessment practices for writing and reading instruction.

Culminating Activities to Provide Connections

Traditionally, students have demonstrated their understanding and analysis of a text or topic through tests and essays. However, have you seen other teachers’ social media posts about One Pagers or Hexagons and weren’t sure how to introduce them to students? Hexagons and One Pagers can be used for single texts, to connect multiple texts. to explore themes, and across the curriculum. This presentation will share the basics of each activity and then give participants time to practice each one.

From Voices on Paper to Voices in the Room

Get every student in your class writing and talking about complex, creative, personal and debatable topics. How? Transition from engaging journal prompts to various discourse strategies. Observe the positive difference these activities make in your classroom community and in their extended writing projects. Learn and practice these ideas in an interactive workshop and be inspired!

Building Authentic Collaboration: Our Experiences as Dual-Enrollment Instructor and Embedded Librarian

Human Resources expert Tim Baker, in his 2019 text on performance and development strategies, theorizes 5 “pillars of authentic conversation” that allow colleagues to effectively collaborate and to “keep it real” in their working relationships. By identifying authentic approaches to task-focused conversations and people-focused conversations, Baker lays out a plan for co-workers in any environment to strategize, carry out their plans, address unhelpful behavior, build trust and appreciation, and move into the future. Faced with teaching dual-enrollment speech and composition classes in area high schools, the session presenters (a community college instructor and librarian) discuss their experiences as they formulated a strategy for collaborative teaching. They describe the Embedded Librarian role as it exists at their school and how their approaches to these shared courses have evolved along the way. Weaving in Baker’s terms and definitions of authentic conversation, the presenters share what worked and what didn’t in their collaborative teaching. The session also offers assessment data from when two of the dual-enrollment courses taught by the presenters were offered by high schools without a media center or librarian in their buildings.

Designing Assignments that Resist ChatGPT

After a brief overview of how ChatGPT works, we’ll talk about ways to design assignments that deter students from using AI generated texts. This is NOT a session on how to catch, police, or punish the use of AI, but to design more holistic and process-oriented tasks that ask students to do their own thinking.After a brief overview of how ChatGPT works, we’ll talk about ways to design assignments that deter students from using AI generated texts. This is NOT a session on how to catch, police, or punish the use of AI, but to design more holistic and process-oriented tasks that ask students to do their own thinking.

Teaching Authentic Reading with Metacognitive Tools: The Double-Entry Research Log

Kayla Greenwell, MA will lead an interactive workshop utilizing the double-entry research log (DERL) while explaining the pedagogical theory and neuroscience behind the learning tool. The DERL is a reading tool based on the design of 1980s dialectic journals with updates based on recent developments in cognitive science. While applying cognitive science to the classroom is not new, the changes are usually broad. The DERL is meant to be a simple tool that teachers can incorporate into their classrooms immediately.

Teaching Students about “Asians”

Representation of Asians in the West often follows the same script: model minorities, mother/daughter conflicts, and oppressive traditions. In this session, attendees will explore and workshop many different materials, ranging from entire units on media stereotypes to individual readings and assignments that can be plugged into existing units, that teach students how to problematize Orientalist assumptions that fuel Asian racism today.

What is “real,” anyway? Creating a new 12th-grade ELA course to align with college composition

The co-presenters, a high school and a community college English teacher, collaborated to create a new 12th-grade ELA course under the state’s Transitional Instruction Initiative. The new course more intentionally aligns with first-year college composition. They will share information about the course, their work together as colleagues at neighboring institutions, and how they’ve created a curriculum, along with engaging instructional techniques, to make college a more realistic and tangible option for students that identify themselves as needing extra support in the areas of reading and writing.

Neurodivergent: Walking the Walk of Authenticity

Authenticity requires a careful balance of the teacher’s executive presence (Hewlett, 2014) the requirements of subject area, the needs of the students, the students’ individual situations, both biological and environmental. Neurodivergence, on the part of the teacher, the students, or both, adds a bit of spice to the experience. This presentation/discussion will explore using teacher authenticity as an important element of relationship-building as a foundation for learning, maneuvering as a neurodivergent (autistic) teacher to support that authenticity, and modifying strategies to encourage success and accessibility for all in the neurodiverse classroom.

Authentic Responses to Refugee: Pre-Service Teachers, Social Activism, and Assessment Design”

This panel centers on the development of authentic assessments to increase student engagement and improve learning outcomes. In it, pre-service teachers shift students from passive consumers to content creators and social activists, while working with the YA novel Refugee by Alan Gratz. In addition to sharing their research, planning, and discovery, each presenter will bring three carefully formulated questions related to assessment design and their future teaching, which they will pose to audience members. Our hope is that educators from around the state can offer these teacher candidates constructive feedback related to their assessment designs and the instructional units in which they will one day be taught.