Re: grades

Nick Carbone (nickc@MARLBORO.EDU)
Mon, 26 Aug 1996 09:41:59 -0400

On Mon, 26 Aug 1996, Bob King wrote:

> and exploring. The specifics of how to do this included such things as
> opening up the campus to parent visits on a drop-in basis, having school
> cookouts and other fun events, as well as looking at alternatives to
> letter grades whenever possible.

My daughter's are in a school such as this. Nicole will be entering
second grade and Emma kindergarten. In both grades the teachers will be
using the Work Sampling System to create a portfolio. In lower grades
this is tricky. When Emma's pre-school teacher does it, for example, she
uses a lot of phots to show students 'doing'--playing in theplay area
(when they do a unit on the sea the play area is turned into a ship; when
they do one on the science, it might be a doctor's office), building with
blocks and other activities that are ephemeral, but important. The
classes have always allowed parents to visit, don't issue grades on
report cards, but instead have conferences with parents to take them
through the portfolios and talk about what's in them.

> When was the last time students' parents
> or children showed up in a university class or played on a class
> electronic listserv discussion? Often, ironically enough, the good news
> is happening in "lower" education, rather than "higher."

I've had a parent or two make a contribution on HyperNews, but my guess
is that more don't take advantage of it, though they are always invited
to, because the students probably prefer they stay away. When I tell my
students they're welcome to invite their parents onto any of the lists or
HyperNews I use, they usually groan and talk about how far they travelled
to get away.

Nick Carbone, Writing Instructor
Marlboro College
Marlboro, VT 05344