Grading Question

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 7, 2011

    This year was my first foray into giving official percentage grades for report cards. I'm wondering how other schools do it. Do you discuss as a grade level what kind of assessments you are using and what is going to count as an actual grade? Or even what's considered mastery of a skill? I ask because we didn't do that at all. We just kind of all did our own thing.

    Now I'm teaching summer school and some of the kids these other teachers are retaining because of grades (one had a 68% average in lang arts) I'm finding are really higher academically than what others considered passing.

    I know grading is subjective, but do other schools coordinate this better? I just don't think it's fair for the kids to be graded on such different scales.
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 7, 2011

    In my district there is NO consistency across the district or within each school. I have voiced concerns about this repeatedly with no luck so far.
     
  4. janney

    janney Cohort

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    Jun 7, 2011

    This was our first year giving grades in Kinder. As a grade level we tried to be giving the same types of grades for each subject. We did this mostly by sharing our rubrics and checklists we used for grading. At the beginning of the year there was a lot of comparing and sharing to see if we were grading the same. I'm lucky though because my team works very well together because non of this was mandated by the district and they did not give us any guidlines on what should be graded and how we should grade it.
     
  5. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    Jun 8, 2011

    We don't have any official guidelines but we are strongly encouraged to plan together, share assessments and moderate together.
    My teaching partner and I always plan our units together and we develop the assessments at the same time. We almost always use the same assessment tasks and tests and work out together the standard of work we expect for each grade.
    With writing samples we usually sit down with them and mark some together to make sure we are on the same page.

    I think it is very important for all teachers on a year level to be consistent with their expectations and grading.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    There is no consistency in my grade or school either. We all do our own thing and grade based on what we feel is appropriate.
     
  7. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Jun 8, 2011

    We have no consistency either, but are rewriting our report card this summer. It is very out of date and we have 3 sets of twins coming in next year! However...i am worried because one of my kindergarten coworkers is all about grading! She uses percentages and keeps grades for nearly every piece of work. I know we are going to butt head on this new report card!!! I don't believe in using "grades" for kindergartners...it's standards based! You need to use a combination of assessments to determine their skill level!

    Anyway...I'll stop now...i could go on forever!!
     
  8. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    I AGREE! We do (O, S, N) Outstanding, Satisfactory, or Needs Improvement! I can't believe you give kindergarteners "grades"! That doesn't seem appropriate to me!!! We have an out of date progress report too! We are to revamp this summer...it no longer aligns with our new standards. However, I have heard of kinder classrooms in my county that "average" grades and then translate them into O, S, or N! WHAT!? That just seems crazy to me! How can you grade, "Recognizes name"?
     
  9. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Jun 9, 2011

    That's what she does! She converts her "grades" over to our M, S, I, N that we use! You said it perfectly, how do you grade, "recognize name"???? In my mind they either know it, are working on it, or they don't know it!!!
     
  10. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 9, 2011

    We use a 1-4 number system that is very consistent within the school and pretty consistent throughout the district.

    I teach in a testing grade so retention has very little to do with the grades I end up giving on report cards. We had to send letters out to parents months ago if there was a possibility of retention and our data on those students is due before we even do our final report cards.
     
  11. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 10, 2011

    That normally works for us as well but this year we took one of our tests in May (it's more accurate for teacher evaluations), so that data wasn't back before the end of the year.

    I don't know how much good it will do, but I may suggest that we do a little review in our pd for the beginning of the year of guidelines(they were looking for ideas of what to cover). Asking around it just amazes me how some people do it. Even for summer school, one teacher is giving a pre-test at the beginning of the week and then the regular test and counting that as her 2 grades for the week. You can't count a pre-test as a grade! You have to grade what you taught.

    Another teacher this year would give the test, circle what was wrong, give the test back to the kids and let them correct it, then count that as another grade-one test for 2 grades and obviously the 2nd one would be much higher and much less accurate for what they really knew. I mean if it's a mult. choice test you have a 50% chance of fixing it to the right answer.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2011

    I can't believe that someone in the administration hasn't said something to these teachers (pre-test grade? 2 grades for one test?). We have a teacher who puts in 6 grades in a grading period (less then 1 every week).
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jun 10, 2011

    My knees are shaking after reading this thread. I know this type of grading and determination of mastery goes well beyond K.

    I really don't know what to tell you because like all others, grading and determining mastery by percentages is so subjective. Even the poster that talks about the whole team working together has a great plan for it to be equal and fair for each class in the grade level, but does it really represent true mastery?

    This discussion shows the need for standardized testing because there is no consensus as to what is considered mastery. It can be wickedly different from one classroom to another.
     
  14. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 10, 2011

    Grading and assessing is so arbitrary in nearly everything we do in the classroom. I think one of the best things we can do is just have well developed rubrics that explain as carefully and thoughtfully as we can why we are grading something a certain way. A good rubric takes time to create, but once you have a few under your belt, they are easy to modify.

    Here's a set of kindergarten rubrics I just found online: http://www.harrisoncsd.org/pdf/rubrics-k.pdf
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 10, 2011

    That's the thing-I don't think they know. Our grades are inputted online. Even if they were checking gradebooks on there, I don't know if they could really see what's going on.

    Thanks bandnerd-that site looks really helpful.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jun 10, 2011

    That was a good example. Subjective words such as appropriately were further defined in the example of looking at text left to right, turning pages front to back, etc.
     

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