At LMMS, you'll hear conversations about closing the achievement gap. Some of our school-wide strategies for doing this are listed below and could even be used at home:
The teachers of LMMS have been having lengthy conversations with regard to grading practices. For the past year or so, many of the teachers have been reading a book by Ken O'Connor entitled A Repair Kit for Grading.
It is our belief that students should be graded based on mastery of a standard meaning assessments should be the bulk of the grade. Homework and anything else should be considered "practice" for the big game. If students are not doing homework, they will not do well on the assessment day. However, students are given multiple opportunities to retake tests to demonstrate mastery. It's our goal to make students at least as much, if not more of, in charge of their learning outcomes.
Other professional readings we have done as a staff to help shape our instructional program:
Learning by Doing Rick DuFour
Classroom Instruction That Works by Robert Marzano
The Highly Engaged Classroom by Robert Marzano
Secrets of the Teen-age Brain by Sheryl Feinstein