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Old 07-19-2007, 10:53 AM
inlovewithwords inlovewithwords is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 154
how to calculate grade

I'm making my syllabus for my ninth graders and I am trying to figure out how to weight each of my grades. How do teachers reach this kind of outcome:

1. Participation/attendance/behavior 10%
2. Journals/ Class Work 20%
3. homework 20%
4. quizzes and tests 25%
5. book reports and projects 25%

I'm probly just going to go with a points system because I don't get this. Can someone explain. How do you follow these percentages with your grading?
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:56 AM
WindyCityGal606's Avatar
WindyCityGal606 WindyCityGal606 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,414
Plug it into your computerized grade book and let the machine do the work! I only used pencil and paper grade books my first year! that was enough!! Teacherease is free for the first year you use it. Go to teacherease.com and get on board! We have enough to do without having to calculate grades!! Let me know how you like it!
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:22 AM
Brendan's Avatar
Brendan Brendan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,084
Prinicpal 7-12 Private School & SS
I have used weighted grades for years and love it. Basically to calculate a student's total average you would average the grades for each catergory, if all the grades are out of 100 just add them up and divide by the # of grades or do total points earned by points possible. Then once you find each catergories average multiply the catergories average by its corresponding percent. For example after finding the test/quiz average you would multiply it by 25% or .25. Then add all the "weighted catergory averages together" (the averages after they have been multiplied by their appropriate wieghts.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:49 AM
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ancientcivteach ancientcivteach is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 809
Fifth Grade American History
I figure out how much of the end grade I want everything to count. I count formative assessments as half and summative assessments as half - like this:

Classwork/Homework - 15%
Interactive Notebook - 35%
Quizzes - 15%
Final Assessments (Tests and Projects) 35%

I feel that that is balanced - if I used total points I could never be sure that little assignments didn't end up counting more than big assignments. (That being said I have a friend who swearts by total points)

I plug those weights into my gradebook software and that is the last I have to worry about it. When I add an assignment, I tell the program what category it belongs to, and it does all the math. Yeah computers!

Have we answered your question or are we missing the point?
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:08 PM
inlovewithwords inlovewithwords is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 154
Yes you have totally answered my question and I thank you all. So I can weight my grades with percentages and use a point system within each category right?
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:50 PM
inlovewithwords inlovewithwords is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 154
Does this sound right? Tell me if I should change something.
Participation/Attendance/Behavior - 10%
Homework/Classwork- 35%
Reflections- 15%
Quizzes- 10%
Final Assessments (Tests & Projects) - 30%
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:38 PM
WindyCityGal606's Avatar
WindyCityGal606 WindyCityGal606 is offline
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Posts: 2,414
homework/classwork should have different weights. You never know WHO is doing the actual homework so homework should weigh really low. Tests should have much more weight than anything!! Classwork is practice, practice, practice and shouldno't make too big an impact on final grade. Attendance and participation and behavior should not factor in to an average. What if you're sickly? What is you are shy? What if you misbehave all the time? Assessments, whether informal or formal are what matter. Whether or not I meet a learning standard is to be proven with an effective assessment. I may try many times, beginning with a D or low C before I finally GET IT! Does that mean that when I score a 94 on my test, I should be penalized in my average because I had low scores on my practice assignments (homework and classwork) or because I misbehaved or was absent. My final grade should reflect whether or not I meet the standard. Nothing else. The report card should have different sections for social habits and work habits.
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:54 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 12,301
You can make the weights of various types of work worth whatever you like. We all have different rationale for weighing some work more than other work.

Last year when I did a percentage system, I did:

35% Home/classwork
35% Daily quizzes
30% Exams/big projects

I liked my setup because I felt like I ended up with very accurate scores overall and because I felt like it sent the message to kids that everything was important. Sometimes they slack off on the things that are only worth 5-10%. I wanted them to put forth just as much effort with their daily work as they did with their exams.

I didn't like my setup because there was no way to easily integrate participation scores. While I'm not actually grading behavior, I am supposed to grade participation, and many times the two go hand-in-hand. If a student is behaving immaturely and inappropriately, chances are that he is also off-task and not participating. And this needs to be reflected in a student's score.

And since I teach a foreign language, I DO need to find a way to evaluate attendance. Students who don't attend class miss out on valuable information which can't be learned from a textbook or by copying someone else's notes. Pronunciation is one of those things. Learning a foreign language is a process, and I have to evaluate students on their performance in regards to the whole process, not just the end result.

Next year I'm going to a total points system. I'm not going to bother with any sort of percentages or points within a percentage (which I think you mentioned). I'm just going to assign smaller point values to smaller, more frequent assignments/assessments, and larger point values to the bigger ones. This is the way many of my colleagues do it and they really like it. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:06 PM
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greenbean6 greenbean6 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 133
Northern CA
3rd grade
I have always preferred to be graded on a total points system. Weights tend to be confusing and students have a hard time figuring out their grades on their own. I have only had one teacher/professor grade using weights, it was this past semester and students were always complaining.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:13 PM
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slongenecker slongenecker is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4
Middle School Teacher
Weighting grades

Before you finalize your syllabus, make sure that you check your school's/district's grading policies. My district dictates that classwork should be worth 90% of the student's grade, with homework making up no more than 10% of that (stupid if you ask me!) and that tests should make up the remaining 10% of their grade. Within the classwork category we are allowed to determine the weights of the grades. This was hard to get used to my first year teaching and I still have problems complying with it sometimes because I don't agree with it.
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calculate, grade

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