No Zero Grading Policy

The Controversy of the “No Zero” Grading Policy

Essential Question: Does giving learners no lower than a 50 percent as an overall grade, even when they have not done anything, helping or hurting the learner?

In a few states, the no zero grading policy has been making some tremendous waves.

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Teachers and parents have been wondering if this policy really helps the child or does it hinder. The district leaders have said it gives students “a chance” to succeed but does it really?  Hmmm, inquiring minds would like to know.

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I think the grievance that teachers have, is if a student does absolutely nothing in their classes, the student would still receive a 50 percent as an overall grade instead of what they truly deserved. This further supports their argument that if a student receives a 50 percent first quarter, then does enough in class to earn at least a “C” second quarter, and receives a passing grade on the final exam, they could still pass the class with at least a “C”. This fact enrages some teachers for many different reasons.

Reason 1 – Students are receiving credit for doing absolutely nothing.

Reason 2 – This is not preparing students for reality because community colleges, and universities STILL give students what they really earn, not a 50 percent for doing nothing.  

Reason 3 – When a student enters the workplace, they will receive feedback based on their work performance and will not be given anything other than their work performance.

Reason 4 – How would it appear if teachers decided to work 50 percent of the day but STILL expected 100 percent pay? It would be safe to assume they would not have a career in their professional for very long.

The other thing to consider is that there are cases where students still do not pass the class after receiving a 50 percent, so the no-zero policy is not always a win-win situation for learners.

In retrospect, it is about principle

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Giving a grade without having to earn it is an ethical issue because it essentially is saying that it is ok to do nothing and still receive something.

For example, a student that earns a 53 percent by actually turning in work, while another does nothing and earns a 50 percent.

Does this seem ethical? By doing this, is our educational system preparing learners to go as further or preparing them to only go as far as their true intellect?

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As education moves forward, what will happen if this no zero grading policy continues? Will it help or hurt our learners? Will it create the Dunning-Kruger Effect in some of these students, where they feel more qualified than they really are?

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Giving a grade without expecting work, is like giving a cart without wheels. The cart itself may seem like a beneficial resource at the time, but without the wheels it will become more difficult to use as it becomes full. 

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So does giving learners no lower than a 50 percent as an overall grade, even when they have not done anything, helping or hurting the learner? 

Just food for thought
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
SHS TechCon 2019

SHS TechCon 2019 ReCap for Educators and Learners

Today I was honored to be a speaker at our 1st annual Technology Conference known as TechCon 2019!

It was phenomenal!! Shout OUT to the Scotland County School District, KC, ES, SA and Genius Bar Team, APs, D(IF)s, Educators, Support Staff, and to everyone else that participated today.

*Tagline of the Event – In the ever-changing landscape of teaching and learning in the digital age, we must continue to grow as education professionals. SCS is proud to offer an opportunity for all of our educators to come to a PD event that showcases Apps designed to promote personalized learning for our diverse group of 21st century learners.

Here are some of the Apps we showcased that you could check out:

Buncee

https://app.edu.buncee.com

Canva not Canvas

https://www.canva.com

Classcraft

https://www.classcraft.com

ClassDojo

https://www.classdojo.com

EduBlog

Home

EdPuzzle

https://edpuzzle.com

ExplainEverythingClassic

https://explaineverything.com

Flubaroo

http://www.flubaroo.com

Gizmos – Explore Learning

https://www.explorelearning.com

Glogster

http://edu.glogster.com/?ref=com

Grammaropolis

https://grammaropolis.com

Kahoot

https://kahoot.com

Make Beliefs Comix

HOME

Padlet

https://padlet.com

Quizalize

https://www.quizalize.com

Splash Math

https://www.splashmath.com

WriteReader

http://www.writereader.com/en/

If you have any questions about these apps, please email me on the contact page, or comment below.

I also believe that everyone school district could benefit from hosting a Technology Conference for Educators so that students can LEARN today and USE tomorrow!

Scotland

 

Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue

 

What is my purpose?

Purpose = מטרה =Σκοπός

Greetings everyone,

I recently decided to do a Word Study on the word “purpose” because it has been a buzz word going around lately. It is also one of the most talked about words in regards to finding out one’s purpose and reason for being here on this Earth. Sometimes people feel like they are just here without reason, or they feel useless or displaced, but I have come here to tell you that YOU are most certainly on this Earth for a reason. Even if it is “to download Chrome.” Just Joshing!

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Let’s proceed with the Word Study and at the end I will bring it all together. So first I will give the English definition of the word purpose, then the Hebrew and Greek definition.

English definition

Purpose  The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. By intent (Kavana): Intentionally. Having as one’s intention or object.

Hebrew definition 

Purpose – That which a person sets before himself as an object, goal to be reached or accomplished; the end or aim to which the view is directed in any plan, measure or exertion. Intention; design, includes the end in view. Mission. Completeness. 

Greek definition

Purpose – A setting forth of a thing, placing it into plain view. Predestined, foreordination, destiny, scope, train on, drive at, intention, aim.

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Right now, you may feel like the guy above, standing in the middle of a maze wondering which direction to go. Some of you may feel like you have been racing face forward down the “correct” pathway for years, aiming for purpose,

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only to realize that you made the wrong choice, have a set back or have wasted valuable time. Others of you may feel like you would rather avoid this mistake but sitting idled, and playing it safe, in fear of choosing the “wrong” way.

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So who is right? The person who chooses to keep moving forward, not knowing if they are actually walking “in their purpose” or the person just standing still and waiting until purpose hits them in the head?

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The answer solely depends on who you believe is behind your purpose. If it is driven by your human wants and desires then you will probably change courses at will and seek out things simply to make you happy. If you are a believer, you believe your purpose is designed by God and carried out through faith in Christ.

Yes, purpose should drive you and according to the definitions above, is also designed specifically for you, but if your faith is in your own choices, you will become your own designer of purpose for yourself. If you are tired of steering your own ship, and are feeling lost, it is time to cast your cares on Christ. Honestly, what do you have to lose?

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You may be saying, “no thanks” or “I don’t know”, but either way, the choice is yours to make. If by any chance this blog is speaking to your heart, you could turn to the Purpose Giver by a) Believing His Son died & rose b) repenting of being a sinner by realizing that redemption is impossible without Him. After doing this, Romans 8: 28, 29a holds the key to your true God-given Purpose.

Romans 8: 28, 29a And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.

There is a perfect plan, purpose for your life, and even though you may feel you have wasted a lot of time, God’s plan is perfect, and intentional. So much so that ALL things (the good, the bad and the ugly) will work together for good if you choose for Him to be your Designer. Other wise, you will have to make your own way and depend on your own intellect. Be blessed.

jchick1

Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
Online dating dangers, single town

The Paradox of Online Dating Apps: It is Meant to Keep you Single

I came across an interesting article the other day about how online dating apps were really meant to keep you in “Single Town” and I think the article may of been on to something.

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Nowadays ALL online dating sites are making the claim that they are here to help you meet your soulmate; but their promise of “True Love” seem to continuously miss the mark.

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If you were to simply go on google, type in your favorite online dating app with the word “danger” behind it, and clicked on the news icon; there would be plenty of horror stories for you to read, I assure you.

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For example, I read that a lady met a guy on a certain online dating app. To be safe, she asked him to meet her at a restaurant with another couple she knew. After dinner, she decided she trusted him enough to drive her home on his motorcycle. While driving on the highway, she somehow fell off and was ran over approximately nine times. Her parents are now suing the man for the death of their daughter. It is still in litigation. I know that may sound like an extreme story, but believe it or not, there were a plethora more that also ended just as badly.

I won’t focus on that, the point of this post was to point out that some of the online dating apps have alluded “publicly” that their goal was for you to remain single, because it keeps them in business. I personally think it is awfully poor form to advertise that you “assist people in finding their soulmate” when ultimately the hidden agenda is to “promote singleness”.  There is just something wrong with that picture to me but in their defense, they do not put a weapon to your head and make you participate; they just play on your loneliness instead. *shrug* No difference, right?

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There is truly nothing wrong with being single if you want to be, but there is something a little sinister in online dating apps preying on lonely people, while also providing a place for convicted predators to meet and abuse people.

The articles I read were sad, so I wanted to bring awareness of this topic in order to encourage others to research these online dating apps more, and the crimes that surround them.

dangers-of-online-dating

Alternatives to using Online Dating Apps:

  1. Eventbrite – Eventbrite is a site that will show you great events in your area or in surrounding cities. You could type in things of interest, such as concerts, cooking classes, open mike, etc… and it will provide you with some dates of upcoming events. Try going out and meeting people that way, at least you may meet someone with a common interest.
  2. Adventure groups – There is a site called Meetup that allows you to find groups of people that share a common hobby. The groups consist of but are not limited to cycling, rock climbing, hiking, city tours, skiing, bookclub etc… Again, this would place you with a group of people that share a common interest, and even if you don’t meet your soulmate, you may meet a new friend.
  3. Adult Sports League – Join an adult sports league. If you like softball, kickball, golf, tennis or the like; join a league of people your age and start playing. This would be a great way to exercise and meet new people.
  4. Coffee Shop – If you like coffee or tea, why not visit a shop or two and see what happens? You could take some work or read a book, but this could be a great opportunity to run into someone new.
  5. Sports bars – If you like watching sports, sports bars are a great place to eat, hang with friends, have fun and possibly meet new people.
  6. Say Hi to 10 new people a week – I have read that a great way to meet new people is to set a goal to say hi to at least 10 new people a week. I personally have not tried it, but felt it was still worth mentioning.

Godspeed on your dating journey!

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Peep out my three books below!

 

 

 

Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
EOG, EOC, Advice, Parent, Teacher, Students

Teacher and Parents: What to do when Instructional Time is lost.

Teachers and Parents: What to do when Instructional Time is lost.

Teachers: Create a plan to strategically cover material student are weak in (based on data) and/or material that is high priority that you have not had an opportunity to cover.

Parents: Provide support by making sure students are taking at least fifteen minutes a day or so, to read over review material.

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When time is loss, I suggest first, going to the test specs for the state course exams and identifying the highest priority, priority and low priority standards. Test specs typically list these by percentage.

English III Example:

English III Test Specs

If this is your test specs, the highest priority would be Reading for Literature, priority would be Reading for Informational Text and Language would be a low priority. Next to the domain is the standards. If you have a short time to cover a lot of material, you would need to go to your testing bank, and select ALL of the questions from the “Standards” listed next to the domain/topic.

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The Review Assignment 

Using the Highest Priority, and Priority framework, go into your test bank, it will vary depending on where you live, and chose the specific standards that were represented, and create an assessment.

Save the assessment as a PDF or Word Document, then highlight the correct answers.

Next, provide instructions at the top of the sheet for students stating they have to complete two items per question in order to receive full credit for each question.

The Two Items

First, they had to identify and define any key term/person/event listed in the question.

Second, they needed to give a brief explanation on why the answer is correct, based on the concept of the question.

Example:

Review Assignment Example.png

**Again, this review could take up to three class days depending on the amount of questions you choose but you would be able to cover a lot of material while providing students with a study guide! 

It is a little rigorous but will allow students to read through and research the standards that have not covered. During the time in class, teacher would be free to catch up on things while being available for any questions students may have in case they come across something they don’t understand.

In conclusion, parents, if a teacher should send material home over break, it would be great if you could make sure your precious child is reviewing the material, so that it would remain fresh in their minds!

Merry Christmas!

Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
return from hiatus

The Hiatus on Double-Minded Island

Good day mate!

I am back from my hiatus on Double-Minded Island. Double-Minded Island, is an Island shaped like a hand and is a place people end up who are in the valley of decisions.

Hand_Island_Infobox

On the island, as I was reflecting about life and where I wanted to go from this point, a memory of a time come to mind. It was 11 years ago and I had been applying to different alternative teaching programs around the U.S. and internationally. It was a very confusing time. I had been praying for clarification because every opportunity that came appeared to be a good idea, but as we know, not everything that is “good” is of “God.”

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So one day, I was in an old building I used to rent for a business we owned. The new owners had made the building into a used book store that I frequented from time to time. As I stood in line to purchase a book, a man came behind me that looked like a character from a Canterbury Tales novel.

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As I was standing in line, taking my wallet out for payment, the gentleman behind me asked about a picture in my wallet of a family member. After providing some insight about that person, he went on to ask me had I been trying to make a decision lately about moving? I was surprised because I had been trying to decide on whether or not to move.

He told me to hold out my hand, he wanted to use it as an analogy. He held up my pointer finger and said, “This is your who, the middle finger is your what, the ring finger is your when, the pinky finger is your where and your thumb finger is your why.” He went on to say, “Never make a decision to do anything, unless the why makes sense. The why functions like your thumb and without it, you won’t grip very well, or hold on to anything for long.” He told me praying about it will help me make sound decisions.” Afterwards, I thanked him and he mentioned he had to go walk to the store up the road to get medicine for his wife. It was super cold outside that day, as it was circa October 2007, so I was surprised he was walking. After I paid, I went outside to make sure he was ok and there was no sign of him anywhere.

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I got into my car and sat there thinking at how much God must really care to send a man to tell me something like that when I really needed hear it. As I prayed and reflected on the positions I vacillated between; I thought about my hands, my fingers and my why. As I did this, things became much more clear. I began to ask myself, “Self why do I really want to go to these places?” I began to realize a lot of the why was not for me per say, but for the opinions of others.

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We end up on Double-Minded Island because of discontentment. Discontentment usually comes from comparing ourselves to others. It can start small, walking by someone and noticing their designer watch or bag. Trolling through Instagram, FB, or Twitter, and seeing smiling faces on vacations in nice restaurants, water skying and such. It could even come from chatting with a friend and hearing about a really great experience they’ve recently had. All of these happenings could lead to discontentment and unhappiness.

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I am so glad I had that memory after my hiatus to Double-Minded Island because it reminded me the importance of knowing my why behind each decision I make. If you are trying to decide between a decision, and end up on Double-Minded Island and remember:

Pointer Finger – Who

Middle Finger – What

Ring Finger – When

Pinky Finger – Where

Thumb Finger – WHY

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This will get you back on the Boat of Contentment, which is a much joyful and peaceful place.

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I leave you with these last word of encouragement.

Rejoicing in Trials

James 1: 6-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

 

Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Preparing for College, AP vs Dual Enrollment

AP Courses versus Dual Enrollment Courses: Decide for Yourself

I am in an Advanced Placement Workshop in Chapel Hill, NC and boy have I been enlightened. Being a proponent of Dual Enrollment for years, after this workshop, I have changed my mind. FYI: Dual enrollment students are students enrolled in high school while also taking a few community college courses at the same time. AP students are enrolled in advanced high school courses where they could earn a college credit by scoring 3 or higher on their exams.

So I felt it was my duty to share with parents and students of Middle and High school the advantage of AP courses. I mentioned middle school so that they could start thinking ahead because the GPA from 8th grade could help qualify or disqualify students for an AP course in 9th grade.

AP Information

  1. Advance Placement courses provides greater educational outcomes for student. Did you know that when students apply to college, having AP courses listed on their transcripts makes them more competitive?
  2. Ap students who score 3 or higher on exams, are more likely than dual enrollment students to earn a college degree within four years, which could save students/families time and money in the long run. Did you know that when students have a choice between going to a community college to take a basic “core” classes or a high school AP core course, the AP course will provide more rigor? This is huge because AP courses was made to prepare students to think more critically, and complete challenging assignments.
  3. AP students have higher college GPAs than dual enrollment students.  Did you know that if an admission team is looking at a dual enrollment student versus an AP students’ transcript, the AP student will look more appealing because of the level of rigor in AP courses?

What the critics say!

  1. Why should my child take an AP course when they can go ahead and take a core class at the community college and have it count as a college credit automatically? My answer: You should have your child take the AP course because it is more rigorous, it will look better to college admission teams, and statistically AP students will finish college on time due to being able to handle more challenging material.
  2. Wouldn’t a college be more likely to take a dual enrollment student over an AP student, since the dual enrollment student has already taken basic community college courses? My answer: No! There are a lot of admission teams (who wouldn’t admit it in public 😉 and research that shows that most dual enrollment students still has to be remediated once they enter college where as, AP students do not. (This even includes the ones who score under 3 on their exams) because of their rigorous curriculum.

 

AP Student Takeaways

  1. AP Students who score a 3 or higher on the exam will get to count that credit as a college credit.
  2. AP Students who score under a 3 on the exam will get to have it on their transcript which will still help with college admissions.
  3. AP students have a higher success rate to complete college on time.
  4. AP students are more likely to out-perform dual enrollment students their first year in college.

AP Exam and Curriculum Takeaways

  1. Courses and exams are developed by representatives from colleges and universities across the nation and align with standards set by well respected liberal arts and research institutions.
  2. AP teachers’ syllabi go a review by college faculty ensuring consistency in quality and expectations across AP courses.
  3. AP exams provides a standard means of comparison between AP courses nationwide.
  4. AP exams provide external validation of teaching and learning in the classroom. The exams are scores by college professors and expert teachers, not the students’ personal teacher.

AP vs Dual Enrollment Programs

Dual enrollment programs do not have any external measures, such as a standardized assessment to measure and ensure consistency in quality. It is for this reason it is difficult for admission officers and college faculty to gauge the quality of any given dual enrollment course. http://www.ncappartnership.org/ap-research.html

Access to challenging work is essential for college and career readiness. So parents and students, consider AP classes, you will not regret it, it will only benefit you!

It is the belief that students should challenge themselves and take courses for which they are academically prepared and motivated. ~College Board

Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce