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.

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 standards.

The Learning Map also allows us to show parents and guardians how certain prescribed learning standards require teachers to use evidence other than a number. We talk about various ways of collecting data by showing examples of our observation notes: a scale of 1 – 2 – 3 on a rubric; an interview with a student to hear his or her explanation or to evaluate oral language skills.

We’ve prepared a brochure that we use to help parents and guardians understand how schools need more than numbers to communicate a student’s learning in the twenty-first century.

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