So I grade participation in my class. It's important to me to maintain a good class environment, and I think it's worth it to grade how well a student participates, conducts himself in class, and how well prepared they are each day. I understand people's frustration with participation grades. I really do. I had one class in college where I nearly received a C instead of a B because of something that our graduate instructor termed "Scholarly Attitude" which meant that I was late once or twice and used my laptop to take notes instead of writing it by hand which he said was way better for us than typing. Apparently that segment of the grade was heavily weighted. But participation is important in my class and it's one way I maintain the learning environment in my classroom. In my class, participation is only worth 10% anyway. And isn't given very often. I just got an angry email from a parent asking how his student could have gotten an A in the major categories of my grade but gotten a C in participation based on 'no evidence'. I just told him that academic performance doesn't always match up with their conduct, group work, and attitude in the classroom, and that there is evidence from my observations in the classroom. I usually mark my seating chart, but I normally throw them away afterwards. I should keep them in the future. The student is getting a B and isn't really near an A anyway. I'm pretty sure it's in our contract that we are allowed to give a participation grade for up to 15% of our grade. Would you think the parent is justified? I know this is a very gray area for most in teaching.