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I abandoned my grading policy and you won’t believe what happened next: Mastery Tracking 101

Session 3
Sarah Prendergast, Michelle Leimsider, Lesly Lantigua, Tajanea Woodroffe, and Lissa Sangree-Calabrese — NYC iSchool

What would it look like if students actually knew, in detail, what they understood and what they needed to work on? If teachers were able to accurately identify, in detail, plans to help support each individual student and if this data helped drive instruction? If a “B” grade had genuine meaning? Students produce massive amounts of data in all of their classes and since teachers have 21st century technology to track and analyze it, why are we still handing out 20th century grades? Mastery-Based Learning means breaking down a class into smaller, trackable topics and then tracking student progress on each topic. It’s about seeing mastery as the most important goal, and providing students with ample opportunities to show what they know. During this conversation, an expert teacher in mastery tracking and her students will discuss the value in leaving behind traditional grading systems in order to create a differentiated, individualized experience for all students. See how one innovative teacher tracks student data, sees what students understand and what they don’t and then uses that data to plan future lessons, and accurately predict assessment results. Participants will then leave with tangible ways to incorporate mastery based learning and tracking in to their own classrooms.

Conversational Practice

In this conversation, educators will discuss their current grading policies (both the policies in their school and the ones in their classroom) and will gain a better understanding of the iSchool’s grading policy and mastery tracking system from the teachers and students who use them. For the second half of the conversation, participants will work through steps to help them set up their own mastery based learning unit. Participants will leave with a fully planned mastery-based unit to try in their own classroom!

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