"Checking" HW - how do you assign points?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by CindyBlue, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    I'm thinking of changing my HW point method for next year. I currently grade every (math) paper (and I'm drowning in paperwork!) and want to consider a checking (vs. grading) method for next year. I'm hoping for ideas...is is full points for completion, 0 points if not complete? Is it some points taken off for directions, some for HW not complete? Is it some points for partially complete work? How do ya'll who check HW assign the points?
    Oh - and what percentage of your grade is the HW?
    Thanks!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I do credit/incomplete/no credit for practice work. Students earn full credit for completed assignments and no credit for incomplete work, work that shows no evidence of mastery, or missing work.

    Practice work only adds up to 10% of a student's grade in my class. The other 90% comes from assessments.
     
  4. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Thanks, Cassie753! Do you use points for these designations? Such as, for example, 10 points for completed work, 0 points for incomplete work and missing work? What would be the difference in points between your designations of "incomplete" and "no credit"?
     
  5. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    My homework assignments are almost always 10 points. When I do a quick check for completion vs. collection they get either 10, 8, 5 or 0 points. Their homework counts for 10% of their overall grade.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I walk around the room with a highligher in my hand. I run a line through each homework I check (that way, the same notebook doesn't turn up later in the day with someone else.)

    Homework is either done, not done, or incomplete.

    Kids are allowed to make up, without penalty, up to 3 assignments per marking period.

    At the end of the trimester, I divide the number done by the number checked. That becomes their homework average.
     
  7. MAffTEcha1001

    MAffTEcha1001 New Member

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    what I do

    for me I count each assignment as 1 pt. If the student does half or more of an assignment, then I give them .5 pt. If the student has done about 90-100% of the assignment, then I give them the full pt. And of course, if they have done less than 50% of the assignment, then you give them a 0. If they make up the assignment I give them .5 pt. In an avg. MP I give students about 50 hw's. If a student has missed 2 assignment and has made up one, then their avg is a 47.5/50 or a 95%. Sooo that is what I do!
     
  8. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Thanks, Aliceacc. I understand "done" and "not done"...but could you tell me what "incomplete" is? and how "incomplete" is scored? For example, are the "incompletes" the three assignments that they can make up, or can they make up the "not dones", too? I am very interested in doing my homework this way again - I used to do something vey similar, but got some flack from parents and administration, so I switched to grading every one. I just can't keep doing this...I've got over 500 assignments and tests a week to grade if I do!
     
  9. CindyBlue

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    Thanks, MaffTEacha1001. How do you decide if they've done 90% of the assignment? Do you do a percent of the number of problems in each assignment, and then count each one? Seems like a lot of work... :)
     
  10. CindyBlue

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    Thank, MsMar. How do you assign the 10, 8, 5 or 0 points? Is there an exact way of doing this or is it done by a quick check/glance? The reason I'm asking is that there are some kids (and parents!) who will always argue the score, so I'm hoping for an exact way of doing HW to forstall this!
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    "Incomplete" is pretty much half done, and I give half credit for it.

    They can make up a total of 3 assignments; I tell them that, as a math teacher, I can manage to add the halves. So 2 wholes and 2 incompletes are fine.
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I can't be bothered going around and checking homework. Even when I collect homework, it doesn't mean I necessarily GRADE it. Some assignments I give a check ++, check +, check, or check minus too. These are things that they are really completing for themselves, brainstorming activities, or I'll do things when I'm overwhelmed with papers. My grading scale for checks is as follows. Graded assignments are worth 100 points, while "checked" assignments are only worth 50:

    check ++(52/50): work goes above and beyond expectations it is perfect, fully complete, and on-time.
    check + (50/50): work shows an excellent understanding of content and excellent effort, fully complete, and on-time.
    check (43/50): works shows a satisfactory understanding of content and satisfactory effort. fully complete, and on-time.
    check - (30/50): work is unsatisfactory. shows only limited effort. may only be somewhat complete and on-time.

    We have decided to standardize the way in which we grade in our department. Our CP grading percentages is 35% tests, 25% quizzes, 30% homework/classwork, and 10% participation. Our Honors grading percentages are 40% tests, 30% quizzes, 20% homework and classwork, and 10% participation.
     
  13. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    My homework assignments are usually short paragraphs about our current reading, using the current vocabulary. I have two self-inking stamps, a blue check and a red thumbs down. I go around the room while students are either writing to a prompt or reading and stamp completed work with the blue check. Work that's incomplete or missing gets the red thumbs down - if they don't have it, I stamp the page it should have been on. They can make it up and have me overstamp those in blue. About once a quarter I collect their notebooks and give an overall grade of a check +, check, or check -. Check + is a 10% bonus, check is full credit, and check - is worth less each time I grade notebooks. It might be 80% the first time (giving them the benefit of the doubt) but will go down to 70% the second time, 60% the third, etc.

    I would be the happiest teacher if I didn't have to grade...
     
  14. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Done by quick glance and I'd say I tend to err on the side of in their favor. So if it looks like they might have done a bit more than half, I give them the 8 instead of the 5. If only one thing is missing out of say 10-15 questions, I'd still give that a 10. It's one of these things where if they get a few 8s that should have been 5s, it's really not going to do anything at all to their overall grade, and it's just easier to err on the generous side. It's about keeping it quick and easy for me while still having them get credit (or not) for doing the work.
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    No kidding! I dread grading!
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    For me, incomplete results in no credit. It goes into the gradebook as "inc" and is calculated into the overall grade as a zero.

    An incomplete is any assignment that was not finished. If there were 10 practice questions and you did 7, that's an incomplete.

    I don't mess around with points because it doesn't work for me. I know that it works for many teachers, and I used to use a points system so I see the value in it. I just get so tied up in assigning points and determining number of points that it gets messy. I have around 220 students, and it's just too much work for me. I'm definitely all about the path of least resistance. :)

    My gradebook is set to a 5-point scale. There are three grading categories:

    10% Practice, which means any activity done in class or as homework. This includes group work, making flashcards, translation assignments, whatever. Basically this is anything which is meant to serve as practice. I don't care if students get their practice correct because it is meant to be practice, on which I feel like it is fine to make mistakes, even lots of them.

    45% Minor Assessments, which includes quizzes and other smaller assessments. Assessments are activities that are done independently and usually in class, without the use of notes or other resources, where students are meant to demonstrate that they understand the material.

    45% Major Assessments, which include large tests, large papers, and large projects. Like minor assessments, students need to work on their own on these assessments (so that I can determine what they know, not what their groupmates know or how well they know how to use the textbook).

    Every practice assignment goes in as a 4 (max score) for a completed assignment or 0 (min score) for an incomplete, irrelevant, or missing assignment. Assessments are scored as 0-4 based on level of mastery (4 = exceeds expectations, 3 = meets standards, 2 = approaches standards, 1 = emergent, 0 = no evidence). I have a much more detailed rubric for students so that they understand exactly what they need to do in order to earn the score that they want.

    I love this system. It works for me and I believe that it is fairest for students. It eliminates the huge disparity between an F (59 points) and any other letter grade (10 points) on the standard 100-point scale.
     
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    So for an objective test/quiz would you create a rubric.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    For every test/assessment, there is a rubric.
     
  19. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Interesting. I have rubrics for all my non-test/quiz assignments. Even for those though: for the essay/short answer questions I use a rubric.
     
  20. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Thank you!

    Thank you everyone - I really appreciate your responses! I have some good material to work with!
    One more question... for the credit/no credit/incomplete checking, does following directions come into play? I.e., if the student didn't follow directions, does he still earn credit? (Such as name on paper, heading the paper correctly, showing work according to the directions you gave, etc.)?
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Not really; it doesn't really come up.

    It's homework. It's their chance to prove to themselves that they can do the problems. I do a real fast check to ensure that the problems are done. So the directions are pretty much "do the problems."
     
  22. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    So you don't show them specific ways to do the math, steps to follow, etc., that you want them to use in HW (for practice) and on tests (so they have a scaffold to get to the right answer and to use for setting up future problems that build on that concept? Do you grade only on the right answer?
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    They get that in class-- there's a definite procedure. So, for example, and Investment problem involves "let statements", a chart, an equation, a solution, and a sentence.

    But I eyeball it pretty quickly. I go over some of the problems, and let them know what will cost them credit on a test or quiz. And "just answers" and not acceptable on homework; they need to show work.

    But a kid could forget a step and still get full credit.
     
  24. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    This is what I do. The students have their homework out on their desks and I come by and stamp their planners if they did their homework. I give them instructions on how to do the problems in class, and they practice. I assign them problems with answers in the back of the book so that they can check their answers at home. They know that if they didn't understand how to get something, it is their responsibility to ask questions. I personally don't collect their homework. Next year I am going to have them keep all of their homework in a spiral notebook so I can use it as a portfolio of their assignments.
     
  25. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    So if they don't show work on the HW, do they earn no credit?
    I don't mean to beat this topic to death :) but I really need specific answers as to what earns a kid credit on HW that is being checked from other teachers. If he doesn't put his name on the paper, is that cause for no credit? If he doesn't do the work in the format you asked for, is that cause? If he doesn't complete all the questions you asked him to do? If not, then why do we ask them to do work in a certain way and put their names on their papers and do this many questions on the HW if we don't have a consequence for not doing so? See my dilemma?
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If the error doesn't impact your ability to grade the assignment, and if the error doesn't indicate that the student failed to understand the spirit/purpose of the assignment, then I really see no need to give it a second thought. Grade it, apply whatever credit it earned, and move on.

    If a student turns in a paper with no name on it, I won't grade the paper. I'll tack it up onto the board with a magnet with "Nomen?" written on it. Until a student claims it, I don't touch it. If they don't care enough about their own work to claim it, then I don't care enough to grade it. And I certainly can't enter the score in the gradebook if I don't know whose grade to adjust.

    Beyond that, format matters in as much as it relates to the work itself. If you didn't skip lines even though I asked you to, I don't really think that that's going to be a serious problem. It just makes your paper look crowded and messy, but if you don't mind it that way, whatev. If, on the other hand, I asked you to label your Latin sentences (subject, verb, direct object, etc.) before translating into English, and you didn't do that, then you missed the spirit of the assignment, and for that you won't earn any credit.

    I think that we ask students to follow certain procedures, such as putting headings on papers, to streamline things. For those of us with many, many students, we need to be able to glance at a paper and know immediately what and whose it is. I don't feel like erring on a procedure is necessarily grounds for discipline or a zero.
     
  27. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    I agree that we ask students to do certain things in order to streamline things...and I do have almost that many students! I counted this year...I have over 500 papers (assignments and tests) a week to grade. I really need to have papers done in a specific way if I am to be able to evaluate and get them back to the students in a timely manner. This is true in life, too, so I figure that it's a good lesson for them to learn for outside my class, too (that sometimes there will be specific ways they will be required to do things.) So if I ask them to do it and they don't, then what consequence should there be? See what I mean? If I ask them to do something and they don't, if there is no consequence then what motivation do they have to do it? I give three chances per quarter for kids to fix the problem and resubmit the paper for full credit - a lot of extra work for me but I'd rather they get it right than ignore it. But after three it's no credit, because I figure that in high school they should be able to follow directions enough to put the correct heading on their paper, and if they want the points they will make the choice to do so. Comments?
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If they choose not to do the assignment, then the consequence is that they earn a zero. The consequence reapplies later during the test if the student hasn't mastered the material by then.

    I allow students to do make-up work...I just don't give any credit for that work. They know when it's due, and if they choose to disregard that due date, then that's on them. I'll bend over backwards for my students, but I won't allow them to manipulate me or the system by constantly postponing due dates and deadlines.
     
  29. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    So then why would a student bother to make up the work if she doesn't earn credit for it? (I'm thinking like a student!) :)
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    A student who cares about learning the material will make it up.

    Honestly, I don't care if they make it up or not. I put it out there, I teach, I make myself available for outside assistance. If a student wants to learn stuff and get a good in my class, he or she will do so. If not, that's on them.
     
  31. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    I've simply got to start thinking like this again, because it's so true...I guess it's just my state of mind lately. For some reason I've begin to really doubt myself, and to believe I am responsible for things I shouldn't be responsible for. There's a lot of pressure lately on teachers at my school to make sure everyone is happy, and good grades mean happy. If they don't get good grades, it's implied (and strongly implied!) that it's something we teachers aren't doing - we're not teaching well enough, or not entertaining enough, or not motivating enough...no matter that the student hasn't been doing HW; or paying attention in class; or never shows up for tutorial; or his/her sport has started so he/she doesn't have time to study or complete HW; or he/she simply doesn't understand the material. I am beginning to believe that I am at fault, even though I've done absolutely everything I can to help - been there all hours for help, taught the best lessons addressing the most learning modalities I can, really prepared. Most of my kids are doing very well, both in class and on standardized tests. Why am I allowing myself to get so beat up over the few parents and students and administrators who question my grades of students who don't do the work and some who just don't seem to care?
    Ugh...
     
  32. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    I use a five point scale...I used to use checks, but points are much easier to input into our computer system.

    We aren't really allowed to count HW anymore at my HS...so I call them all assessments. LOL. So what if they aren't done in class. Every student also has a study hall, so they usually do their "HW" in there.
     

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