Didn't have much time to write yesterday because of the demands of the new school year, but here goes...
It's the same with exams which are ridiculously over-important and redundant, well over 90 % of the time teachers can predict their grades..
Couldn't agree more. Every year, I ask each class and then their parents about grades. The kids always vote for "no grades", while the parents demand them. A few enlightened souls understand that there's no need for exams, but the vast majority want grades so they can boast to their friends/cry to the director. For me, they are completely useless, and the time wasted on grading/marking could be spent on preparing nicer materials. As it stands, I'm wasting about 12 hours a week on marking books and grading them, simply because parents are obsessed with the idea of grades and marking.
So that old business of grading children for the week and recording the results still goes on?? Why on earth is that considered necessary.
Well, mine get graded when I feel like it, but there's heavy pressure from parents to do as many tests as possible. It's ridiculous, especially when you have subjects where there's really no need to test them at all. For instance, my civil war programme in the CLIL history class - meaningful assignments are much more valuable, but again, parents expect grades and final scores from the semester. It's ridiculous and a complete waste of time.
As you say, I can pretty much give grades to every kid in every class without needing to test them.
Anyway, today's fun. I always give kids a test at the start of the school year, simply to see where they are - the grades aren't recorded, it's just for my own information so I can think about seating arrangements and so on. I gave the test yesterday, and today, I get a mother asking "when will the results be online?". I explained to her patiently that it was an internal test for my use only, and she predictably went on the attack, saying that it was her right to see the results and so on. I offered to sit down with her when it was checked so we could discuss it together (and the implications), but she wanted an actual grade online.
I leave it to the reader to decide why she valued grades over discussion.
So far, my groups are pretty much fine. The real work starts next week, as this week is just about easing kids back into school life. My classroom is nicely decorated now, including a lot of materials and books sent over from the UK by various organisations - it really helps to create the illusion that they are (for 45 minutes) in a British classroom.