I have just completed by second set of grade reports for this term in which we give the children a grade for their Achievement (A – E) and a grade for Effort (5 – 1) and I began to think about the Effort grade.
What does that Grade mean?
What do children have to do in order to achieve a high grade?
How do they demonstrate “good Effort”?
How do they know what to do in order to improve this grade?
In my lessons I have started to refer to this as Attitude to Learning rather than Effort and I tell the children that I assess their Attitude to Learning along with the skills they demonstrate and the knowledge they show. (SKA – Skills, Knowledge and Attitude to Learning).
But then I started to think about what the children think that Effort grade means; what do they think represents a good Attitude to Learning?
After discussing this with several classes (from Year 5 to Year 8) I have drawn up a list of criteria that the children believe contributes towards a good Attitude to Learning. These include things like being punctual, being prepared and contributing in class discussions.
We then looked at these criteria and came up with a set of five statements for each relating to the five grades they could be awarded.
- I do not take care of the appearance of my work.
- My work is often messy and untidy
- I usually try to make my work neat
- My work is always neatly presented
- I take real pride of the appearance of my work
My intention is to stick this set of criteria into each of their exercise books (Yes, I have exercise books for their ICT/Computing lessons) and then ask the children to self-evaluate their Attitude to Learning for each lesson. The hope is that by referring to it explicitly and getting the children to actually think about it then the overall Attitude to Learning will improve.
As always I welcome any comments, positive or negative.