Completion or Correctness?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SpanishTeacher4, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. SpanishTeacher4

    SpanishTeacher4 Rookie

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    Sep 7, 2011

    My first night on the site so I have many questions!

    I struggle with deciding to grade smaller hw assignments for completion or correctness. I have over 140 students. I know that for many hw assignments, a few kids in the class do the assignment and the rest copy. I try to assign individualized things so that they cannot have the same thing, but I do not have time to collect and mark 140 papers!! On the other hand, I don't want students to think they can fill in any old answer just to get credit! What's your policy? (I teach hs spanish)
     
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  3. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Sep 7, 2011

    I have more than 140, and I would say there is just no way to keep up with it all if you try to grade it all, or if you try to figure out if it's copied. Make it clear to the kids that the hw is practice and that the point is to practice so they learn, then try to grade what they've learned: tests, short quizzes where they write a couple of sentences that you grade for whatever they were practicing, whatever. I wish we could move away from grading hw at all, but I teach in a school that seems like it's all about "can you give him his missing assignments so he can pass?"
    I have some assignments that they can get some points just for completion, but I try not to pick too many of those up. Instead, I have them show me that it's done, just by having it open on the desk...just mark it on the seating chart if it looks done (or ideally, if it's not done, because hopefully there are only a few of those!). Then we go over them in class, or go over a few questions that seem difficult, emphasizing that the point is to practice and then check so they will know it. Then they can just keep it.
    To make that work, you need to have a bunch of short, easy to grade quizzes. Maybe 2 sentence dictations, or quick vocal quizzes on a few of the words, so the kids can see that practice pays off.

    You can take this advice with a grain of salt, since, as I said, I work in an environment where I am pressured to give points for every little thing the kids do, including writing the assignment in their planners or giving extra credit to turn in forms the administration needs them to turn in!
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have more than 250 students. I'd go crazy if I had to grade every single question on every single activity. There's no point in that.

    Practice work is meant to give students an opportunity to, y'know, practice the skill. They shouldn't be expected to get everything perfect when they're just practicing, so they shouldn't be penalized for getting answers wrong.

    In my class, virtually all homework and classwork is classified in my gradebook as "Practice" and it's almost always graded on completion rather than correctness.

    I grade on correctness only on assessments, when they need to show what they know and prove that they've mastered the material.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 8, 2011

    This year I have a light grading year; I'm only grading for the 160 or so Geometry kids I teach. (My 6 classes of SAT prep don't take quizzes or tests; they self-grade practice tests.) And I teach math, not Spanish.

    Homework is graded for completeness. I firmly believe that you need time to play with math to see whether or not you understand the process. Homework is that time.

    I quiz about twice a week. (We started classes Tuesday; my first quiz will be Friday.) And I test every two weeks, regardless of what material I've covered. Obviously, that material will need to be correct to get full credit.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I know as a parent if you don't grade ANY of the homework for correctness, some children won't try much less learn. I'm not sure what the answer is. I just know what I see at home and it is hard to overcome it. We started off with years of homework not really counting. Now it does but it doesn't actually get graded. What has resulted is my child has learned to cheat himself out of homework. I would love for him to have the inner ability to WANT to do it for the sake of learning but so far since 4th grade on, he hasn't been given incentive to even try much less develop that. As a parent we are TRYING to counteract it and I can tell you it is a bit of an uphill battle. (At first we didn't realize some of it was happening... long story).

    Growing up, my dad didn't look at my homework. I'm sure there are kids whose parents don't look at homework and at first we did the same thing because homework should be about what THEY can do. Then we realized what we were swimming up against and have to be over-involved which is ALSO counterproductive.

    Sigh... frustrated parent. You guys continued your discussion based on what you know as educators at the secondary level. I know it can't be easy to have that many students to grade.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Cut, I think part of that depends on the course and the kids. My kids know that if they get it right on the homework, it means they'll be OK for the test and the quiz.

    And they know I'm only expecting 20 minutes, max, of effort per night, so it's not insurmountable. And that they can occasionally miss, then make up homework. So when they DO do it, they tend to do it well.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Generally if they don't practice, they won't do well on tests and quizzes. So don't feel bad if you take homework for completeness. The misunderstanding will show up on the first few tests and quizzes.

    Every once in awhile I'll grade an assignment. I rotate it based on class, so at most I am grading one class set. Maybe you could grade one class set a week or two class sets a week....depending how much you want to put into it.
     
  9. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Sep 8, 2011

    This is what my French teacher used to do - She had all our names on index cards. She would go over the homework orally - maybe not all of it, but a few questions. She would randomly pick a card and ask you the question. If you got it right, she would put a check on the card, and if you got it wrong, she would put an x. At the end of the marking period, she would divide the number of checks by total marks. So if she called on you 10 times and you got 8 of the questions right, you got an 80%.

    I have done something similar where I give students a mini sticker for answering a question and they keep them on a piece of paper in their binders. I pick a number depending on class size, maybe 20 per marking period - if they get all 20, they get 100%. It's not grading participation, because I am calling on the kids and they have to be correct to get the sticker.

    Also, all formative assessments in my class are 20%, and summative assessments are 80%. So you can copy someone's homework all semester, but you still are going to fail if you can't pass the test.
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    If you grade on accuracy, you'll have parents who will simply make sure their children's homework is correct.

    If they don't really try on the homework but still do well on tests and quizzes, what would the practice have been for?

    Therefore, I think it makes a bit more sense to grade on completion. However, to really get practice they will have to know whether they're right or not, so I'd give them the answer key to look at at the end. Technically, you don't (or, shouldn't) really care if they're just copying the answer key. It's their education, after all.

    Well, that's one way of looking at it, anyway (even if there remain concerns).
     
  11. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Sep 8, 2011

    Consider:

    "Teachers are wasting a lot of valuable time correcting homework. Since the teacher never knows for sure who did the homework - student; sibling; parent; friend - giving a 'grade' may not be a true assessment of learning or work habits. If a teacher really wants to know who has 'learned' and not merely 'done' he/she should give a quiz on the homework. The quiz should be short and similar to the homework. If anything is to be graded, it should be the quiz not the homework." - Madeline Hunter
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 8, 2011

    I don't know if you can do this in HW, but I grade on completeness, but I glance through it and if I see wrong answers I check kit more thoroughly and send it back to be correct. It's a 0 until it's turned in, complete and correct. That's just me.
     
  13. SpanishTeacher4

    SpanishTeacher4 Rookie

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    Sep 8, 2011

    good point!!
     
  14. jennyd

    jennyd Companion

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    Sep 8, 2011

    When I was student teaching in 2nd grade my cooperating teacher had a similar philosophy. Our kids came from pretty varied backgrounds, so some had lots of help at home while others had none. If a kid got all the items correct on a homework paper, who's to say the parent didn't "help." And how is it fair to the kid who tried it on his/her own but got it all wrong because they didn't have any help?

    I've always based the homework portion of my grade just on completion. I agree with the previous poster - homework is meant for practicing (especially in Math!). Occasionally I do assign things that I intend to grade, and I usually let the students know ahead of time, but most of my grades come from in class assessments, projects, etc.
     

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