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Monday, August 1, 2011

Do's & Don'ts of Grading

So I wanted to share this aritcle I found with you. It is a great read. I got my monthly informer in the mail and this was in it. You can view the informers each month at this site attached below. https://iahe.net/Resources/Informer

( I am gonna type out the pointers as it is not uploaded to the system just yet. )

In this article the author Michelle Thompson recommends grading starting at 7th grade though highschool. ( I have always done grading with my oldest since she came out of the PS at 4th grade. However I dont really grade my little ones) Here are her pointers:

Do wait until your children are in the 7th grade before determining grades for a course.
  • The goal of the elementary grades is to establish mastery of math and language concepts. Students work toward understanding, which means staying on a topic until thorough understanding is achieved. History and science topics require only exposure. Therefore, in the early years, grades are ont advisable.
Don't grade homework assignments for accuracy.
  • Becoming proficient at solving a quadratic equation in algebra or a stoichiometric problem in chemistry requires practice. Just as you don't scold a child who falls while learning to walk, you shouldn't penalize a child who makes mistakes while learning a new skill. A student who is mature enough can be handed the teacher's manual and told to check his own assignment. He should rework any problems that were incorrect and check them again. This is how he will best learn the new materil: by making mistakes and correcting them.
Do give credit for homework assignments completed with a good effort.
  • Although you should not grade homework assignments, this does not mean that a student should not receive credit for doing them. If your student completes an assignment with good effort, he can receive full credit for doing it. This would apply to such things as math assignments, microscope observations, and vocabulary flashcards.
Don't assume that because an assignment isn't written that it's not worth a grade.
  • Being prepared for and actively participating in a history or literature discussion deserves credit, as does an oral report or speech. A physical education credit can be earned by logging hourse of physical activity while a health credit may include successful completion of a Red Cross first aid course. Other classes in this category would include computer applications and fine arts.
Do give partial credit.
  • She says, "I remember the story of a physics major who took two entire pages to complete a problem on a test. The answer was wrong, yet she recieved full credit. Upon question the professor, she was told, "The only thing you did wrong was to add three and two and come up with six." You knew how to do the problem. If your student completes and algebra or chemistry problem and gets part of it correct, if she answers an essay question that explains the symbolism in the novel incorrectly but has great support for her answer, or it lab results come up completely wrong but the lab procedure was carefully documented adn the calculations done correctly, all of these are situations where partial credit is certainly warranted.
Do use rubrcis when grading papers and projects.
  • How many of us can recall pouring blood, sweat and tears in to a paper only to receive it back with a big red C scrawled on the top - and no other comments? A rubric will allow you to assign a grade to an assignment that perhaps isn't so easy to grade, such as an essay, a speech, or a project. Its purpose is to break down the assignment into parts, to each of which you assign a certain number of points. Ideally, you will have the rubic formulated when you assign the paper or project. Know what you expect and how many points each section is worth. Give a copy to your student when you give the assignment. Recognizing, for example, that content is worth twice as much as grammar will help him/her plan his/her time accordingly.
Don't assume that you must assign grades the same for every course.
  • For a course like P.E.,  a student may receive an "A" if he/she completes a specified number of hours of activity and keep a neat log. A point system might be used for a computer applications course where each assignment receives points but there are no tests. A weighted average could be employed for a science course that has homework assignments, labs, and tests. Fit the grade assignments to the course.
Don't assume that a higher grading scale will make your student look better to a college admissions officer.
  • Much controversy has surfaced recently in our country over the grading scale used in different school operations. Students and their parents have the belief that grade point averages would be higher if a lower grading scale was used (i.e. 90-80-70-60 as opposed to 95-86-78-70). What people fail to realize is that teachers will adjust their grading methods to whatever grading scale is imposed upon them. At a school that has a high grading scale a teacher may give more opportunities for extra credit, whereas if the school lowers its grading scale, he/she may stop providing those opportunities. A teacher may use a larger quantity of easy test questions if a higher scale is used than if the grading scale were lower. This is borne out by the fact that changing a school's grading scale has little effect on the point averages of the students. Furthermore, if similar corporations with different grading scales are compared, the percentage of students with A or B averages is comparable. Therefore, it is perfectly fine for you to use a 90-80-70-60 grading scale!
Ideally, we could enjoy learning with our students in whatever timeframe we required to satisfy our curiosity. We could keep working at something until we understood it; we wouldn't have to worry about grading anything. Even though others such as college admissions officials and auto insurance companies require grades of us, we can structure our grading in ways so that our students aren't  surprised at the grades they receive. Grading doesn't have to be the monster we have created it to be as long as we establish our expectations fairly and let them be known to our students.

With this being said, What do you think about this article. I found it a great read. I have seen and heard so many juggle the debate of Grade or not? 



Anonymous said...

I payed for there owl book,and never got it, they are a rip off bunch

homeschool101 said...

I got mine. It was just delayed. It came out about 2 mos later after payment. It was a prepayment we paid for. When did you pay for yours? I would contact them about it.

Anonymous said...

I Ordered mine when he first told about it, yes i e-mailed them for about 2 months no word from them, I was so mad that someone would do that but oh well he took the money and we got nothing, lesson learned from me