Getting Gritty - Room 213

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Getting Gritty

Many of my students have a problem. They give up way too easily.  Too often they pass in work that is half finished or done at the last minute.  I know they can do better.  And I need to do better at teaching them how.

I truly believe that one of the biggest obstacles that keeps them from trying their best is a fear of failure.  And that's partly our fault.  Failure is usually a big old F-word in school; yet we all know the importance of failure in the learning process.

So, I'm on a mission to turn that around in my classroom.  I want my students to take risks so that they are able to grow. One of the best ways to do that is to use formative assessment, and give them ample opportunities to practice and learn before the assessment "counts".  I find that once the fear of being "marked" is gone, students will loosen up and try things they wouldn't usually try.

The next part of my mission is to actually spend time teaching them about goal setting.  I blab on and on about it all the time, but I've never really taught them how to do it.  Next week we are going to learn about SMART goals and then they will set some for themselves.  I want them to think about areas they'd like to improve and then set a realistic action plan that they can work toward.

Feel free to use the jpegs here to make a poster for your own classroom.  They are both part of my latest product, Teaching Grit.  If you would like to be entered for a chance to win it, share some of your successes with teaching students to be more resilient.

Leave your ideas in the comments and a winner will be announced March 1st!


  1. Celebrating small successes helps. My 10th graders improve when offered praise for small steps.

  2. One thing I tried this year was changing how I graded writing (it could really apply to everything). Students had a checklist of what had to be included in their writing. If they had all aspects when they turned it in, they received full credit. If they were missing anything then it was returned to them as incomplete. Of course students had ample opportunity to work with the checklist during self and peer assessment before turning in the completed assignment to me. Different students will be at different levels of sophistication in their writing but I need to see evidence that they included what was on the checklist and revised to do so if they did not originally include it.

    I talk about the idea in this post:

    Brynn Allison
    The Literary Maven


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