Monday, November 29, 2010

Letter Grade Traits

What does an A, B, C, D, F really mean to a student?  How do you let your students know what the grade they received really means?  Does an A mean that you had a student excel in class, or just do the necessary work to get the grade?  Last night I got to thinking about grades, not sure why, but there is a lot of talk about the value of grades in education.  A recent post by Nick Provenzano asked What is an A Worth?  I often wonder that myself now.

I discovered that it might be important to provide your letter grades personality.  Let students know the REAL reason they received that letter grade.  Let me explain

A - A is for Attitude.  Chances are students with a positive attitude were some of your best students.  Let students know that the reason they received that grade is that their attitude about school work allowed them to succeed.  There attitude about coming to school and learning will allows them to succeed in the future.

B  - B is for Believe.  Students believe in themselves.  They believe in the teacher.  They believe in school work.  They don't have the attitude to reach A Level.  They let other things interfere with their potential success.  They believe in doing their best and if a B is their best, they believed that they succeeded.

C - C is for Concentrate.  Most students who are average students do their best just to concentrate on school work and leave class happy with a C.  The problem is that the students with a C personality trait tend to spend to much time concentrating on things other then school work to actually be above average.  They don't believe in hard work, and they lack a positive attitude about school.

D - D is for Disrespectful.  It is hard for a student to succeed when they have little respect for peers, teachers, administration, and the school.  This disrespect leads to the inability to concentrate on their work, believe in themselves and school, or develop an positive attitude.  Their disrespect can sometimes hamper your students who just try to focus on concentrating on their school work.

F - F is for Flashy.  These are your students who brag about getting an F, or think that failing is no big deal.  They are "too cool for school."  They lack or have yet to find the other traits important enough to no longer be flashy.  These kids must be shown the way.  They must be made to turn away from the need to be flashy.  You got to earn their respect and then make them concentrate on their school work.  They will then start to believe in doing better in school and develop a better attitude.

Not sure if this really makes any sense, but it was in my mind, and felt like sharing.  What are your thoughts?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Do you have a trait that you would put with letter grade?

What if when we graded a students paper we put a trait instead of a letter?   


  1. I like it! I would add to D- disrespect for themselves too. Often these students don't respect themselves enough to even get to the Concentration part.

  2. I think this is an interesting way to look at the grades. I agree with Kelly that D should also stand for disrespect. I think though, that an A, though it may represent a good attitude towards school and school work, it differs from class to class, depending upon the type of work a teacher gives. An A could also say, "Wow, you memorized that information and spit it out fantastically," which unfortunately doesn't really say much at all. The B too could reflect someone who has a great attitude and puts in the effort with projects but doesn't return the information to the teacher on the tests. That to me, is the unfortunate paradox of the letter grades.