end of the year grades

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by JustineCase, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. JustineCase

    JustineCase Rookie

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    Jun 5, 2008

    I hate 'em.


    We're supposed to electronically enter 4th qtr grades, a semester grade, and (because i teach a year-long course) a year grade.

    These are the things they leave out of teacher training. How to make and keep up with a grade book.

    Oh yeah... we had a rinky-dink section on how to make an excel sheet for 1 measly class, but when I've got 150+ students to keep up with...

    My first year will be over tomorrow, but i think i mentally checked out about 2 weeks back.

    I'm sticking around for next year, but I definitely have to make some changes.
     
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  3. b2teach

    b2teach Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Same here. I have checked out and I need to submit a grade for my students and comments. I feel like the comments are the worst because the negative things always come to mind first. Especially if it was a troublesome child. Just do it and get it over with.









     
  4. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Good luck! I'm fortunate to work in a district with an online gradebook program! Love it!
     
  5. wcuprof

    wcuprof New Member

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    Jun 17, 2008

    Any advice owuld be appreciated!

    As a professor who teaches a course in evaluation and measurement, I have struggled with the issue of what to teach my students about grading programs. The problem is that there are multiple grading programs out there and each is different. I don't think it is necessarily beneficial to teach them a particular program. What would you recommend that I teach? Any tips would be appreciated.
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jun 17, 2008

    Hi, WCUProf, I think it would be useful to have a demonstration of a string of sample grades from a student (maybe a year's worth of work) and show the difference in the final grade with the different ways grades can be calculated. E.g. total points and weighting (and with weighting show the differences in how e.g. if quarter exams are worth 50% of the final grade vs. quarter exams being worth 25% of the final grade). I think it would be powerful to see the same scores change into different final grades. Does that make any sense? :) Your students could then discuss their philosophy in choosing a system.

    OOoooo ... it might be even more powerful to have a couple sets of sample grades, some that did well on e.g. daily work but struggled with exams, and some opposite.

    I think just seeing this would be useful, it may not be necessary to solidify a grading choice (and/or some districts probably have mandated systems, anyway).
     
  7. wcuprof

    wcuprof New Member

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    Jun 18, 2008

    Thanks

    Thank you ku_alum. That is most helpful! I will try it. We have a copy of ClassBuilder that I can use to do that. Any other ideas by others would also be appreciated as well.

    I am curious, though, as to what programs teachers are using to calculate their grades.
     
  8. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jun 18, 2008

    Use engrade.com, that way you can access grades from any computer with internet access. I weight the final exam of 20% of the overall grade, with each term totaling 80%.
     
  9. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jun 18, 2008

    When all of our classes were a full year class we based our grades on the following:

    Semester 1 Grade:
    40%: Term 1 Grade
    40%: Term 2 Grade
    20%: Mid-Year Exam

    Semester 2:
    35%: Term 3 Grade
    35%: Ter,m 4 Grade
    30%: Final Exam

    Final Grade:
    50%: Total Semester 1 Grade
    50%: Total Semester 2 Grade
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 18, 2008

    We use EasyGradePro in my district. If I weren't already required to use a grading program like EGP, I would definitely seek one out before I attempted to keep track of grades on paper or, frankly, even in an Excel sheet. I think that grading software probably leaves a lot less room for user error than a paper book or Excel sheet.

    I would have loved to have learned about grading in college. What would have been helpful is to have been given a basic tutorial in 4-5 popular grading programs, as well as the differences in total points vs. percentage grading systems.
     
  11. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jun 18, 2008

    We are an Infinite Campus school ... it is Internet based, parents and students can log in and see grades. I like it fine, but I started the year we switched to IC, older teachers don't like IC but I don't know what my school used earlier.
     
  12. wcuprof

    wcuprof New Member

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    Jun 19, 2008

    Clarification

    Cassie, could you clarify what you mean by total points versus percentages. I think I know what you mean, but I want to make sure.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 19, 2008

    In a total points system, you assign point values to assignments in any amount you like and is most convenient--for example, a 25-question quiz might be worth 25 points. When you are calculating the student's grades, you take the total number of points they earned and divide it by the total number of points possible.

    In a percentage system, you calculate each assignment out of 100%. If they got 8 questions correct out of 10, they get 80%.

    In truth, both systems work out almost identically. There might be a percentage or two difference, but otherwise they're basically the same, at least in my experience.

    Where it seems to make the most difference is how you assign weights to the different grade categories. [Or, in a total points system, it's how many points you would assign to assignments in certain categories.] If you're going to make homework assignments work 50% of the total overall grade, for example, the student's total overall grade is going to look different than if you were to assign homework assignments as only 30% or something. Does that make sense?

    You'll need to decide which sorts of assignments are more important and should carry more weight in your class. I believe that summative assessments like tests and quizzes should be worth significantly more than formative assessments like practice, so I weight quizzes and tests more. In a percentage system, I'll say that quizzes and tests are worth 30% each. In a total points system, I'll just make sure that my tests and quizzes are out of 90 points rather than 30 points like a regular assignment.

    I'm not sure if this is very clear. :(
     
  14. Trice2006

    Trice2006 Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2008

    I use teacherease.com, it has been a life saver for me. It's an internet based site...and I think my first year was free. After that it didnt cost that much to use.
     
  15. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Jun 21, 2008

    I used Easy Grade Pro last year and really liked it. This year I had to use Teacherease and found it hard to get used to. Once I figured it out it was pretty easy. It really helps to have a school/district give you a program to use. I have no idea how I'd do it otherwise. I don't do math, so doing grades by hand is not an option for me.... well, if anyone wants accurate grades, that is!
     
  16. wcuprof

    wcuprof New Member

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    Jun 22, 2008

    Spreadsheet

    One way to calculate ones grades without a specific grading program is to use a spreadsheet. Do any of you use spreadsheets?
     
  17. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Jun 25, 2008

    I used a spreadsheet my first two years teaching. It was just a bad experience all together. The spreadsheet was fine, but I always waited until the last minute to move the grades from my grade book to the spreadsheet. And all of the report cards were saved on my laptop, so I would have to print off grades and enter them into the report card. There were also areas for marking off how they did on individual standards. The report cards were 5 pages per student. The entire process took forever. By the end I never wanted to use a computer again (I obviously got over that.) I am so much happier with the online grade book my school uses. It tabulates automatically and the report cards get delivered to my mailbox. I don't even keep a paper grade book anymore.
     
  18. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Jul 20, 2008

    I use an online grading system that is going state-wide eventually. It has its quirks especially when setting up stuff but after I got the hang of it, it wasn't that bad. I just tried to keep up on it more during the school year so when grades were due I wasn't scrambling to put in 100's of grades for my students.:)
     
  19. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 20, 2008

    I used spreadsheets until my district went to online grading. We use esembler, and I love it. The only thing I don't love about it is that making comments is awkward. It limits you to a certain number of characters (so that if a child has multiple teachers, they can each make comments) but as an elementary school teacher, only the resource teachers make comments, and that is rare. So I end up having to make small comments, and half of the comment section is blank.

    I've gotten around that by saying "See attached comments." and I just attach a sheet that I've done on a word processor. I'm a stickler for detailed comments, and esembler just doesn't support that. (We have to purge all comments from the report cards when they get to 5th grade anyway, so it just means tearing off the back sheet when it comes to mine.)

    I think it would be helpful for prospective teachers to learn how to make comments that have academic meaning. I had to spend a lot of time learning to do this on my own.
     

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