According to Dr. Ken O'Connor, "grades are broken when they do not accurately communicate achievement," (O'Connor, 2007, p. 19). He and other educators suggest that student behaviors (effort, participation, adherence to class rules, etc.) should not be included in grades. The inclusion of these behaviors in a grade means the grade is not a reflection of what the student knows and can do regarding content learning. In South Portland we think that reporting on those behaviors is as important as reporting on content learning. This year teachers in grades 6-8 are separating the behaviors for learning, or Habits of Work, from content learning.
Other schools have chosen a similar approach and have put greater emphasis on HOW grades by making them part of consideration for athletic eligibility as well as such things as including them in recognition efforts.
We are interested in your feedback! What thoughts or ideas do you have regarding Habits of Work being reported separately from content/subject grades? How can we make Habits of Work as important in our school culture?