Everything is a test grade?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TamiJ, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2012

    I'm the new teacher at school, so I am trying really hard to really become part of the school before picking any battles, but my grade level inputs everything as a test grade. Does that seem weird to anyone else? Is there any research that would support not doing that? It just seems so odd to me. Not everything is graded but of what is, it's an automatic test grade...:(
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2012

    By my first sentence I mean I a the new teacher at this school, but not a new teacher.

    To expand, I always have had participation grades (my department head told me that's not age appropriate), test/projects grade, homework, and quiz grades.
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Yes it's strange and probably incorrect. Why not allow them to do their thing and you do yours though? Are they not allowing you to input grades the way you see fit? If so, they need to mind their own business.

    I believe grade level teams should help each other with ideas and strategies, and not worry about how one enters grades. I wouldn't like it if someone nit-picked how I did grades unless it was my P. Do what is right, and don't pick this battle unless your grade level team is on your back about it.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    We pretty much to have to be uniform in what we do as a grade level. I've already sort of questioned it and that's when I was told that participation grades are not age appropriate. I don't know if she would let me grade the way I think it is appropriate, but I can find out.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    If you can't get participation grades added, I agree that having projects and homework for part of the grade is a good idea.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oct 9, 2012

    Tami---we only have "test" grades in K. But we don't assign a letter grade to each subject area. Our students are graded on standards, so we don't want a participation grade because we want to know if they have truly met the standard or not.

    Just wondering what your report card looks like? Is there a section on effort? Are you assigning letter grades (A-F), numbers (1-4), something else?
     
  8. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2012

    I don't think it's too awful unreasonable. Basically another way to say it is that every assignment is weighted the same. I weight most of my assignments the same-- but then make tests count x2. I don't think there's any harm or foul in keeping them the same, and doubtful is there any research on the effect on students. It may not be a best practice but I doubt it does any harm, especially if the quizzes and projects are meaningful assignments (that are "worthy" of counting the same as a test). For first grade, I can also see the idea that participation grades are not age-appropriate. I give my third graders a grade per six weeks on whether they are keeping up their interactive notebook, but that's a more tangible form of participation.

    I definitely sympathize with you wanting to be able to do your own thing, though.
     
  9. TripleTeach

    TripleTeach Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2012

    How can you put a grade on homework? You don't know if the student has done it independently.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 9, 2012

    We are doing something similar, but still assigning a number grade (the grading system used here in Mexico). Writing and math are the only subjects they are given a grade for. In the report card we can comment on effort and even specific standards. So, this might be why my department is doing this this way.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oct 9, 2012

    That's probably exactly why your department is choosing to only have test grades. It's much more meaningful for a parent to see which standards their child has mastered and which their child is still working on than an A, B, C, D, F.

    I saw many students in sixth grade who did not have the basic skills needed for middle school, but had received As and Bs in fifth grade because they tried. Well, the parents were shocked when their sixth grader was getting a C or D because they were trying but didn't have the skills of a sixth grader.
     
  12. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2012

    If you teach first grade, why use grades at all? Why not just talk about what the child can and can't do?
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 9, 2012

    Thank you! That makes so much sense. I knew there much be some logic behind what they were doing. I definitely see how this is more meaningful than a grade. Thanks!
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    We do, but we still grade for writing and math. I don't know why only those two subjects are given grades. This is my first year at this school so it's much different than what I am used to, and I still don't know a lot of the why's behind many things.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    How can you put a grade on homework? You don't know if the student has done it independently.

    True, I don't know for sure they did it completely independently.

    So for the nearly 350 homework assignments I give a year (175 x 2/night)=350 the students are to get nothing? The homework is practice and they already know how to do it. I make sure it is homework where they must show their work. I don't give a lot of points for homework, but doing homework correctly compared to someone who doesn't do it should count for something. Homework counts for about 10%-15% of their grade in the subjects I give homework.
     
  16. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oct 9, 2012

    Tami---you probably grade for writing and math because those are subjects that can be "tested" or have a product in 1st grade.

    I wonder if they give grades in other subjects in higher grade levels.
     

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