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.

Category Archives: Letter Grades

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 […]

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Where does “effort” fit? Isn’t it a part of a letter grade?

Effort, participation, and behaviour are important learning attributes, but they are not included in a letter grade (See O’Connor 2007, 19.) One exception is when there is a specific reference to one of these attributes, and it is stated as a prescribed learning standard, such as participation in physical education (“participate in a variety of […]

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How can I defend my letter grades to parents and guardians? They want numbers, and you’re suggesting we show them a map!

We still use numbers to arrive at letter grades. We show parents and guardians a Learning Map that includes evidence of learning, such as test scores, marks on assignments, and presentation scores. However, a Learning Map allows us to go beyond only numbers by emphasizing the importance of linking a letter grade to required learning […]

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