What’s my grade?

Posted: May 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

I was intrigued, challenged, inspired, and instantly could not resist the urge to try this.  

I didn’t put grades on their simplifying radicals and radical operations quiz.  I circled errors like I always do, then didn’t write points scored, and copied the quiz (just in case this attempt went south).  We went over 3 examples of student work from the review and found errors and talked about how many points would be awarded if the student was the teacher.  Then, I passed back their quizzes and a colored pencil.  I gave them the task:  grade your quiz.  (the closer you get to my score, the better.  If we greatly disagree, I will divide my score in half).  

It was amazing… who would have thought it would actually work?!?!  Out of 42 quizzes the score I gave and the score they came up with on 41 of them were within 5% points.  1 student actually scored themselves way lower than I did.  Yet, that isn’t the exciting part!  The conversation that took place was breath-taking and stopped me in my tracks.  While it didn’t last as long as I would have liked, they TALKED to each other and some asked their neighbor to help them find their error.  I even had one group get into a 5 minute discussion about one point… one point.  

Normally, I pass out the quizzes.  By the time I pass out the last quiz, half of them are already in the recycling bin.  Not this time… and not the next time, because I think this technique is not going anywhere.  We are at the end of the school year, but I better go out and invest in colored pens for grading next year!  Thank you Learning to Fold!


  1. Brian says:

    Good stuff. I like the focus on feedback and improvement. It is about finding ways to improve and get better rather than basing knowledge on a point value.

  2. […] **************** Follow up: Emily Steinmetz over at Crazy in Math gave dropping the grades a go in favor of some student grading. Read her breakdown here. […]

  3. Ashli says:

    Love the double-down you took with having them grade and re-engaging with their work. Thank you for sharing!

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