In an effort to adopt more equitable and humanizing grading practices, this teacher inquiry explores how educators attempted to improve students’ views of learning and assessments by utilizing rubrics on a sliding scale. Using the sliding scale rubric approach to grading provided an opportunity for students and educators to rethink how learning is evaluated. The authors found that the logistics of using sliding scale rubrics as a grading tool does need to be refined and further evaluated; however, the belief that a student can receive a grade based on her or his individual starting point did have some positive implications for students and educators.

Grading for growth by using sliding scale rubrics motivated students to read the rubric more closely and ask more questions about key indicators on the rubric. Once students were able to focus on their target area, they understood the expectations for what they needed to demonstrate. Students who previously appeared unmotivated requested feedback from peers and teachers. This article questions the commonly held beliefs educators can hold about grading and assessment practices and invites educators to rethink the inequitable grading practices that exist in schools.



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