Does This Count Towards Our Grade?

This past week we began our district assessments.  While preparing to administer them, my students asked, "Does this count towards our grade?"  Interesting question.  Let's talk about that.  Here's what they figured out:
  • they haven't seen 1 grade since they've entered my classroom
  • when I assess it's because I want to figure out what they already know (How many times have I said that since the beginning of the school year?)
  • I talk to them to let them know what they are doing well
  • I provide them with suggestions & strategies to help them use what they know/do well to become a stronger reader, writer, thinker, etc. 
My kiddoes are starting to figure me out.  Now as a good friend says, "cream always rises to the top".  Some students will embrace your style while others will take advantage of it.  And...some are embracing it, eating up every possible opportunity I lay in front of them, not caring about grades.  They want to do well because they are motivated to do well, intrigued & engaged by learning itself.

The others I know will come along.  I think, being 3rd graders, they're trying to figure out if I'm for real (another post on that later).  Do I really want them to just be them?  Do I really like them for them?  Do I want them to do what interests them?  Do I really pay attention to them & alter my instruction to meet their needs? We're not quite at the 6 week mark yet, & shortly after that they will know that I mean what I say & say what I mean.


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