Kathleen + Caren

Are on the Map

Meet Caren and Kathleen, authors of the book Rethinking Letter Grades and master educators. Their goal, to provide the best learning environments for students, motivated them to create a five-step process of teaching and assessing using “Learning Maps.” This process, creating “big ideas,” describing levels of performance, and selecting and matching evidence of learning to descriptions, clearly showed students their strengths and helped them to succeed.

Building and using learning maps is the foundation of QUIO. Creating learning maps may be a new process for you, and you may have questions along the way. We have provided FAQ here for you, but if you don’t find what you are looking for, just ask. Caren and Kathleen are here to answer your questions.

As a principal, I want to get a discussion started around the issue of letter grades. How do you suggest we start as a staff?

Some colleagues who are principals have told us that one of the most helpful practices they use with staff is to set aside a 10-minute talk time at each staff meeting. Teachers work in small groups and have conversations about practices related to reporting.

There are also some short and thought-provoking presentations online to prompt discussion on this important topic. Two of our favourites include Dylan Wiliam, who speaks on assessment-for-learning strategies and Carol Dweck, who speaks about growth and fixed mindsets, giving key insights into motivation of our learners.

The leaders we have worked with who surround staff with both expectation and invitation create an environment that encourages thinking, questioning, and debating. They focus on creating a safe space for talk and inquiry to happen.

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