Teaching, Writing Support

Quantification – How to quantify everything

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One of the best pieces of advice I learned in grad school is how to quantify learning.

We had this professor (I honestly have no idea who he was, he was a guest professor for the day? the semester? I can’t even remember) who used to be a PE teacher. And he was explaining to us how to grade students. But how do you grade a student in PE? It can be rather subjective, “you didn’t try enough” or “that was better than last time, good job” … not very helpful.

Instead, break down the process and establish a measurable objective.

Are you practicing your dribbling in basketball? Set up goals: hand on top of the ball, wrist straight (don’t turn your wrist), elbow close to body, head up, and then dribble five consecutive times. Or, how many times can you dribble across the court using correct form?

(Ok, I haven’t played basketball in years … I have no idea what I’m talking about)

What about an academic example?

Let’s use handwriting, which is an area that every student seems to need help with at some point.

  • Letters are on the line, no letters falling under the line, no letters floating above the line
  • Tall letters are tall, but don’t go above the line
  • Low letters go below the line
  • Letters are equally space, not too wide and not too narrow (“too” is vague here, establish a concrete criteria of sizing based on your child’s age)

Scoring Guide
1 or less errors is an A
2-3 errors is a B
3-5 errors is a C
5 or more, the child needs to redo

You see how that works? Set up quantifiable goals beforehand, then measure their progress. No more vague “Do this better!” without explaining what they need to “do” and what “better” looks like.

Now, go do a better job! 😜