Grades are often a very important part of one’s schooling, no matter the age. Grades determine how well your child is doing in any given area and give you a sign of how your child is doing overall in school. However, other methods can determine your child’s intellectual ability. Some schools assign non-numerical grades, though they are usually small schools. Let’s talk about the Montessori teaching method and how you can apply them to your curriculum!
The Montessori Way of Learning (No Grades!)
Assigning non-numerical grades is a part of the Montessori teaching method. They believe that children will be able to better succeed in life if they are taught without grading them and instead teaching them how to learn and allowing them to change and perfect their learning skills. While the traditional way of schooling is “I teach you, you receive a grade, you move on,” the Montessori method follows “I teach you, you learn, and then you change.” In this system, there is no such thing as a student failing.
Since this type of teaching does not assign grades, it sometimes can be challenging to determine what your child knows or doesn’t know. This happens because children in Montessori schools can choose their own path and go at their own pace. This makes it difficult for the parent to know what is going on in their child’s education because you can’t tell by looking at grades or scores on tests. However, this teaching method promotes individuality and can often help students grow and learn in a completely different way than the traditional.
In Montessori schools, teachers use portfolios and journals instead of gradebooks. A portfolio contains all the work your child does during the year in each of the subjects they study. This allows you to see your child’s progress in each subject instead of looking at one grade that shows what they know in all subjects at once. This also makes it easy for your child to review their work on their own, which can help them understand the material better on their own!
4 Types of Non-Numerical Grades Schools Can Apply
Now that you understand what the Montessori way of learning is, it is time to look at four types of non-numerical grades. Non-Montessori schools use these “grades” to determine how well their child is doing.
#1: Evaluative Judgments
This type of grade is given when the student has turned in work but has not been graded or judged yet. You can use this type of grade to determine if your child needs more help on a subject or if they are doing well enough that you don’t need to worry about it anymore. In addition, this allows you to review your child’s work at home or with a group of other parents.
#2: Level of Achievement
Level of Achievement is not a grade, but it shows what your child’s learning level is in a certain area. This can be used as a discussion starter between parent and teacher, so you know where to begin with your child. You can talk about their goals for the year or even help them set up goals that they want to strive for.
#3: Grades of Pass, Pass with Merit, Pass with Distinction
In this type of grade, the student has been evaluated and judged to have reached a certain standard of knowledge or skill. This means that they have done a quality job on their work or assignment. Pass with Merit and Pass with Distinction are both higher than Pass, which is the lowest you can receive. These types of grades can be used as final grades for some students if necessary.
#4: Grades of Fail, Conditional Pass, and Unsatisfactory
Finally, this type of grade is given to students who have not reached the necessary standard. This means that they need more work or practice before receiving a higher grade. These types of grades are also common in Montessori schools because the students determine their own pace and if they need more help. Using these types of grades can give your child the opportunity to re-do their work at home or with a group, which will allow them to improve and learn better in the future!
Now that you know four different types of non-numerical grades schools can use, you can help your students learn in a totally different way than the traditional. In your small school, you can teach however you please! This type of learning may not require a traditional physical or virtual gradebook, but you can always try to find a free teacher grade book template for this time of learning and “grading.”
By using non-numerical grades in your small school, you can give your students the chance to learn on their own time. This provides individuality for each student and will teach them how to manage their own educational needs. These grades will also help you as a teacher stay organized and on top of their progress, instead of using grades that make it difficult for you to understand your student’s talents and abilities. By using these types of grades, your students will be able to practice at their own pace and in a way that best suits their learning needs!
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