"Test" grades for random stuff?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by RussianBlueMommy, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Sep 22, 2018

    I left an email for her. I hope to hear back soon.... I do see 120 points under a daily grade for the signature sheet I signed at the beginning of the year... what the heck.?
     
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  2. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Are "daily grades" a certain fixed percentage of their overall grades though?
     
  3. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Sep 22, 2018

    50%.
     
  4. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    .
    While I'm still not in love with it, I guess that's a little better than putting it in with tests and quizzes. I'm not sure 120 is a reasonable point value though, unless everything is worth a high number of points.
     
  5. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    I was looking at the numbers wrong

    Daily is 50%
    Six week test is 30%
    Tests is 20%
     
  6. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Grades should reflect what kids are able to demonstrate about their learning. So I don't agree with the grading system described. I also don't agree with the idea of grading only based on tests, quizzes and projects. I think grades should be based on what students can demonstrate in a variety of ways about the standards for the course. This can include conversations, observations and products, so projects/tests really shouldn't make up more than about 1/3 of the grade. But where I work we don't average anymore, we look for most consistent and most recent. Ken O'Conner would be an example of a perspective I would support.
     
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Sep 23, 2018

    In high school and college and beyond, your grade is based almost entirely on tests and quizzes. Even certain professions make you take tests and your continued employment is contingent on your performance on said tests.

    That’s why we should start doing that for younger students, so that they are prepared for that once they enter higher grades. Basing a student’s grade on conversations (really?), observations (only formal observations are useful where grades are concerned), and projects (if they are major products that are cumulative and require them to master multiple topics, then I can agree with that) seems like a highly subjective and inconsistent way to determine a student’s performance.

    For example, let’s say Johnny (a fictitious student) seems to get the material when you observe him interacting with other students in class. However, when you put a problem set in front of him on the same material he just discussed, he is unable to answer any of the questions correctly, and this is not a one-time occurrence. It happens many times. That’s okay in your gradebook, it would seem, because he conversed with his peers and you observed him “getting it.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  8. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    The only time I could see conversations making sense would be like a foreign language class. In fact, that's the one subject that I would argue that more of the grade should be based on how well they can speak the language. I got As in high school Spanish, but I was never fluent because I never really had to speak the language besides for a skit here or there. Observations---maybe like in a science lab if you observing lab techniques.

    Having projects and tests only 1/3 of the grade? I agree that this sounds absolutely absurd. I can't imagine entering grades into our online system "Observation 9/24: 10/10" "Conversation 9/25: 7/10"
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    I completely agree. In a foreign language class, conversations should be a large part of your grade, as should observations in lab practicals. In situations like those, observations and conversations are necessary and more appropriate. However, they are not and should not be in ALL classes across the board.
     
  10. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Sep 23, 2018

    I think we have to be careful with this ("it prepares...") argument -- i.e. how homework has been shown to be less beneficial (if not harmful) at elementary levels, but has shown some benefit in upper grades, whereas independent reading shows significantly positive effects. As a result, I push for kids to be reading as much as possible rather than "preparing them" homework-wise, as that has the most benefit (and really, it's slowly increasing anyways - between chores at home, the little bits of homework and occasional projects for school, etc...)

    That's why you often will see grading systems in elementary where tests/quizzes certainly play a part, but there will be other forms of assessments, too. For example, for the tech grade, students had their "words per minute" typing tests, they had some projects they completed, but then I also based that score on what I saw throughout the year: were they able to develop independence and problem solving? Were they needing help with the same skills over and over?

    Obviously, that'll probably decrease as you enter the upper-middle school / high school levels, but elementary is a significantly different beast, since you have the same kids there throughout the entire day and have a more whole picture of who they are (not to mention many are in the process of learning how to take assessments, to begin with!).
     
  11. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    For once we have an OP talking about high school though! Woohoo!!!!!!
     
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  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sep 23, 2018

    I have categories for classwork, reading tests/quizzes, writing tests/final drafts, and a catch-all. The classwork is usually higher just because we are working on it more and they get more assistance. Tests are graded to the standard mastery, as are writing pieces. The catch all is where I keep track of extra work, standardized test scores, returning misc. paperwork, etc. That category doesn’t even figure into their overall grade. It just gives me data for talking with parents.

    I don’t particularly like giving classwork scores because they aren’t accurate measures of application of the skills since we were working on it together on things we read and discuss. The tests/quizzes (weekly) are application of the skill with a cold read, and that’s what I really need to see what they are lacking.
     
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  13. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Sep 24, 2018

    This is also one of those situations that is hard to judge without knowing the school culture.

    Yes, it's easy to say that a binder shouldn't be an assessment - that's true. But some schools are much more lax than others. This could be one outlying teacher making an odd choice, but it could also be a norm for the school or at least several teachers at the school.

    Grades are often inflated or teachers will give large amounts of points to assignments that don't deserve a heavy weight. Many teachers feel bad failing students or are under admin pressure to not do so. I think it's a very common practice actually, and it's one that really harms our education system.
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Apparently, my admin does NOT like to see F's. So I might be one of the teachers artificially inflating grades!!
     
  15. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    I am a high school teacher and our grades are not based almost entirely on tests and quizzes. In fact, our grades are based equally on observations, conversations and products in all subject areas. For example, Math absolutely has a balance of observations, conversations and products where I work in a high school.
     
  16. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    We also don't enter grades the way that is being described (i.e. out of 25). We grade based on standards. The student achieves basically an A, B, C or D in the standard and then we look at how that student achieved in that standard most consistently and most recently over a course. We don't average numbers. Again, Ken O'Conner is a starting point. That's what we read in 2000 when we started changing our grading practices.
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    I have no qualms about failing a student if they don’t perform well in the classroom. At my school, if you score anything less than a 70% as your final grade, it’s an automatic F as we don’t give D’s. Our reason is that colleges won’t accept a D average and neither would an employer, so what good does it do to award a student a D?

    This puts the pressure on for students because even if the gradebook rounds up a 69.5 to a 70%, we would still report their final grade as an F. This prevents students from thinking they can just coast through a class and pass with minimal effort. They constantly are forced to study hard because they get scared if their grade nears 70% because they have virtually no wiggle room if their grade dips below that.

    I wish more schools did this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    I find it kind of ridiculous that it's on the teacher if there is an F! I have a girl who does NOTHING in class. I've attempted to call her mother, etc. and she doesn't come to extra help. I know it's only middle school, but I know it is not my fault that she will probably fail. The only reason she isn't failing is because of completion grades! (But I think my principal likes these, so...)
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Absolutely unacceptable on the part of your principal! Is there not something that you can do with regards to preventing your principal from forcing you to alter grades? That is completely unethical and my school board members would step in if my P or VP’s tried to make my colleagues and I do this.

    I would document the student not doing anything and build a case for her not passing.

    I’m outraged that you have to do this!
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    No one is forcing me to alter grades but my math coach says I need to "get creative" because it's not ok to have five kids failing my class. By getting creative, she meant pulling kids for individual help, etc. but that's not possible with my class sizes. (Note: I actually do not have 5 kids failing right now -- I just have one failing, but I do have five kids who are showing "F" level of understanding.) No one is forcing me to alter grades BUT if they don't like to see the F's, then I need to find a way to give credit for classwork, etc. that isn't just based on mastery.
     

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