Not giving zeroes

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    Does anyone else not give zeroes if a kid completed an assignment? I'm thinking of having a policy where the lowest score they can receive if they tried a classwork assignment is a 50%. (Maybe not for tests and quizzes). This ensures that a kid's grade won't be unbalanced because of a zero. My district suggested this policy as well.
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    What if a kid has tried and completed the entire assessment in earnest but hasn’t reached 50% mastery yet or if a kid has attempted less than 50% of the assessment and left the rest blank or if a kid has written “rubbish” answers to “complete” the assessment so he’s not in trouble. Would you view these situations equally and give each kid 50% or how would you differentiate the different scenarios to make it “fair”.
     
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  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    ^
    That's why I was thinking of not using this policy for assessments, but just classwork. I'm really not sure though!!
     
  5. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Would classwork count towards their overall grade? If it does, it should be fair to all students.
    If it doesn’t then perhaps not giving a grade or percentage, but rather just a “sighted” initial from you?
     
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    Classwork is 40% of their grade.
     
  7. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Wow that’s a huge chunk! In my opinion, if it counts for so much of the overall grade then the grading needs to be based on merit. I have students who try their hearts out and work their behind off for every assessment but always get a D grade. I always have a quiet chat to them before I give them the grade to say that regardless of what the grade says, I’m so proud of their effort and so impressed by their attitude. Even though they haven’t passed yet, they will eventually if they keep trying and never give up. I also use the Dylan Williams feedback tip where I give students a + - = on their assessment to let students know if they have improved, gone backwards or stayed the same in relation to their last assessment. The students who never give up and keep working hard almost always improve or stay the same and that’s encouraging to them too. That’s my two cents.
     
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  8. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    I'm with rpan on this.
    In my mind, I always have to consider what the purpose of the homework might be before I assign and assess it so I can have a clear reaction to all of the scenarios before I know to whom they might apply, if that makes sense. I always have those kids whose situations tug at my heart, so I have to determine all of that before it starts happening. :) Some homework given reveals whether or not a student understood the lesson, some gives added practice, some is to give room to explore and some is to challenge. So, before I assign it, I look at my purpose and then get a rubric in mind. (For a challenge/exploratory homework: you tried several or all- 100%; you didn't turn it in and didn't try 0%; you made an attempt on the first one or two before quitting 70% . Kids know that I have a three pronged rubric for these kinds of homework. I'll state that this homework is a challenge and it is an easy 100% if you try all of it. Then, I'm getting everyone to try something challenging, which was my goal. On something that is mastery measurement of a lesson it is based on correct answers on a 100% scale. Then, I'm meeting my goal of seeing which students need more help and which have mastered it. I teach math, by the way.) I hope I'm making sense, but when it is almost half the grade, you will really have to be judicious in how you assign homework and what you make those assignments to make it a valid part of the grade.
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think giving 50% for work not done is a bad policy. I wouldn't do it. If you do zero work, then you get a zero.

    Is your district fine with teachers doing no work but getting half of their pay? If so, please tell me how I can transfer!
     
  10. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

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    I agree that you can't give them something for nothing. That said, if you are worried about the effect of a 0, perhaps you can grade using letter grades/the 4 point scale for classwork, and then translate back to a percentage later.

    Here's how it would work (obviously you can adjust as needed)
    93-100=4
    90-92=3.7
    87-89=3.3
    83-86=3
    80-82=2.7
    77-79=2.3
    73-76=2
    70-72=1.7
    67-69=1.3
    60-66=1
    Below 60=0

    For instance, if you grade on a percentage scale, and a student gets 0, 70, and 90, they average out to 53.33%, which is an F, even though 2 of the scores were passing. In the 4 scale, 0 would still be 0, 70 would be 1.7, and 90 would be 3.7. This averages to 1.8. 1.8 is closer to 1.7 than to 2 so if you needed to convert the student back to a percentage grade for the purposes of report cards, it would be somewhere between 70-72%, likely 71. This mitigates the effect of the 0.

    As a disclaimer, I don't use this scale, but I would prefer something like this over just giving credit for nothing.
     
  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I'm guessing you're not standards-based? I don't give grades based on classwork, unless it's a summative assessment of sorts. If they choose not to do an assignment, I don't think it's right to immediately jump to a 0 (or a '1' in SBG), nor is it right to immediately give a 50. Neither likely accurately describe that child's understanding, and there's likely some other underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    My principal suggested making classwork a larger percentage of their grade. We don't do standards based grading but we might be moving towards it. I'm happy with my breakdown because tests/quizzes are 45%.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    The lowest score we can give if work was done is an F, 65%.
     
  14. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

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    The only issue with that in my mind is that you have less than half the grade based on summative assessments (i.e. what the student knows and can do independently and verifiably). Our district policy at the middle and high school levels is 80% tests/quizzes and 20% classwork/homework (I tell my students that's the "freebie" 20% so I can't imagine a "freebie" 55%). I love that it promotes consistency between buildings and classrooms.
     
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  15. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Devotee

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    It might be different based on districts. Our principal looks at our gradebook and I was told he does not like to see scores that are too low. This is why I was thinking of the no zero policy. A lot of classwork will be graded on correctness as well. For example, kids wrote math journals last week that I graded on correctness.

    My classwork/homework is actually 45%. Summative assessments are 55%.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

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    When he says that, do you ask him what he is doing to improve the learning and work ethic of students throughout the school? Do you ask him how he is fighting generational animosity towards education? Generational poverty?

    I had two admin say something similar to me. One I asked "what would you specifically do to increase the LEARNING of these students?" and invited him to come to my room and re-teach the lessons that apparently I had bombed. He had no suggestions. Another admin commented on the low grades and I said that was what the students earned. I obviously was successful with the students that did well on the assessments, so what did she want me to do? Did she want me to falsify the grade book? To mark the students as proficient in a standard when they clearly were not and had not desire to change that for themselves? Again, no suggestions.
     
  17. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    This would worry me. I'd prefer admin to not be purposefully ballooning the scores, but rather trying to assess why student scores are so low, and addressing the underlying issue causing that.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    How is this any different than giving a 60 as the lowest grade?
     
  19. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

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    Because it's giving a 0 as the lowest grade. Again, it's not a scale I actually use, but if push came to shove, I would condense the currently wide "F" range this way instead.
     
  20. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Mathematically, your conversions effectively create the '0' as a '60' in their respective grading scales. If you're meaning just the shock-element of the student getting a '0', then yes, that would allow for that. However, as a2z said, there's no effect on the scoring system otherwise.
     
  21. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

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    Sure, but it's a nicer packaging that allows you to give out 0s still without them being as devastating by condensing the "F" range in the way the other ranges are condensed.
     
  22. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Could you explain what you mean by "devastating"? As I read it, I'm hearing a connotation that denotes that the a 0 (in 0-4) vs. 60 (in 60-100) leads to a different overall grade/result. However, it doesn't. That's the confusion a2z and I are having. Condensing the F range and utilizing the 0-4 range in the way you're describing is no different, with the exception of the latter being extra work, at least from what I can see.
     
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