High School Grading Questions

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by specialteacher1, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. specialteacher1

    specialteacher1 Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2014

    Questions for fellow high school teachers.

    1. How do you address papers with no name? Only part of their name?

    2. How about if your students have learning disabilities which greatly impact their education? Do you take points off for their name then?

    3. If you take points off or have another method to teach the students to put their full names on their paper, how quickly does your method teach them to change?

    4. Do you penalize spelling errors on content material?

    Thanks for your feedback! I really appreciate it!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 18, 2014

    I keep no-name papers in a folder. Whenever students claim to have turned something in but I have no record of it, I tell them to check the no-name folder. Nine times out of ten, it's in there.

    I don't penalize students who forget their names. If they don't identify their no-name paper, though, they'll receive a natural consequence of a zero score.

    I don't care about partial names. As long as I can identify the student, it's okay if they write just their first or last name. If I have more than one student with that name, I'll ask the student to be sure to include their last name. This hasn't really been an issue; most students write their full names. I don't penalize students who don't write their full names.

    I teach a foreign language. Spelling counts when it's in the target language. I do take off points for misspelling in the target language. If students misspell English words, I don't mind as long as I can figure out what they're trying to write. If I can't tell, then I have no choice but to mark it wrong.
     
  4. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Nov 18, 2014

    I put no-name papers up on a section of my board that I call "The Island of Misfit Papers." After 2 weeks (or when I remember to clear it out), any unclaimed papers are tossed. I don't penalize, except that if they don't claim it, that student will have to redo the assignment or take a 0 on it. It would be the same policy for LD. Can't grade it if I don't know whose it is.

    I don't care about partial names. Honestly, I can't stand when I'm waiting for a student to hand me a paper and they're writing full name, date, block, subject, omg, I don't care! You're the only "Bob" in this class; it's enough.

    I take off for spelling on formal writings only (test essays and research papers). Even then, it's on a rubric and those points are far more often lost for grammar than spelling. However, I do take off points on any assignment for writing a person's first name only as an answer (historical figures). "Jefferson" or "Gffrsen" would both get full points (with correction), but "Thomas" would not.
     
  5. specialteacher1

    specialteacher1 Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2014

    Thanks Caesar753! I really appreciate your input!

    I have consulted with several former teachers that I've worked with and many of them use the folder also! It's a great idea!
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Nov 18, 2014

    No name means they have to find it and claim it out of the trash.
    Enough of their name to ID, I don't fight that battle - it isn't worth the effort.
    I find that students who do the work are highly motivated to find their work in the trash, and frustrated and embarrassed to have to search for it. I don't take points off, I don't make jokes about it, and I don't ridicule them. I quietly suggest, away from peers, that ID is really in their best interest - someone else could have claimed the work, and then where would they be?
    Because the students have disabilities, I go out of my way to come up with an ID that they are comfortable with and that I can prove. Sometimes their screen name is better - they use that over and over, and I am not opposed to keeping a list.
    If the assignment is handwritten, I note spelling errors, and have them write and spell it correctly as an extra task - just the misspelled words - to make the last work they do on it be the correct version.
    If the work is typed, I highlight the misspelling, and have them correct from the saved version, so that they can submit a proofed version for grading. I remind them that the red squiggly lines under a word indicates misspelling or poor word choice. I don't deduct points if the corrections are made. If the word that is misspelled is important to the content, I ask for a definition at the end of the assignment, spelled correctly, and used in a sentence. That is just to leave them with correct usage and spelling to fix in their brain.

    I do penalize misspelling when there have been multiple drafts that have been gone over, proofed, and the mistake identified and explained. I would rather create the chance to make a positive correlation of corrected version for their own education, so modest penalty. It is not a "Gotcha!" kind of experience. By the same token, a perfectly proofed and corrected paper gets a couple of bonus points.

    I recommend peer editing before submission, and if there is disagreement about the correct spelling, I send them both off to the dictionary - good skill to learn. I am a science teacher, and I want to make sure that the concepts are right, and sometimes the misspelled word prevents me from truly knowing what they are saying, which I tell the students.

    Try adding a step to the submission process, where the students pass the work to the left, so that the peer can check for the student name before submission. You are just giving them an extra step to create a worthwhile skill. Over time, most students markedly improve putting their name on their work if you give them these chances to make connections.

    I have had students who submitted their work using Google Drive, and that really helps with the name thing. It is also nice to be able to make suggestions about proofing and correcting work before getting to the final draft. I LOVED that interaction.

    Find out what your team does, and them adapt to fit your student's needs and limitations. Don't make it into something that is just a power struggle, IMO.
     
  7. specialteacher1

    specialteacher1 Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2014

    HistoryVA thank you so much for your response! I love the title "Island of Misfit Papers!" A friend of mine called her folder the "homeless folder." Maybe I could come up with something that pertains to the content area of the class!

    Thanks again for your input!
     
  8. specialteacher1

    specialteacher1 Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2014

    Lynettstoy! I love your ideas! I agree with you in so many ways. I personally do not feel it is worth the battle. I don't take off points. A teacher I have been working with though feels "attention to detail" is just as important as the content and believes in taking off points for only putting their first or last name, forgetting to put the period, not "inputting" correctly (name, period, unit in upper right hand corner of the paper). I love that you let them use their screen name! That is GENIUS! Thanks again for your input!
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 19, 2014

    I do require full names on all submissions. I have so many students with the same first names in my classes that it does significantly slow me down when I put grades into the gradebook without last names. Especially at the start of the semester when I don't know the kids well and I have tons of extra work to do as it is. It takes me more time to figure out who they are than it does for them to write their full name.

    I've never had a student that was so severely disabled that he/she could not write/remember/spell his/her name. I can't imagine that I ever will have such a student.

    I typically take off five points for missing information. I rarely have to take off points more than three times before a student finally remembers. After all, they've been writing their name for ten years now.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 19, 2014

    All of the grades that our students receive (at every grades level) are to reflect only their mastery of curriculum expectations (standards). Things like forgetting to put a name on a paper cannot be grounds for a deduction of marks.
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I don't take points off. If they don't write their names on their paper and they don't claim it, the grade stays a zero. I only grade for spelling as much as the state standardized test grades for spelling. It is a total of two points out of twelve on their essay, so I take off no more than that percentage on their writing in class.
     
  12. specialteacher1

    specialteacher1 Rookie

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    Thank you! Especially for the feedback on how long it takes for the behavior to change. Very valuable information. :)

     
  13. specialteacher1

    specialteacher1 Rookie

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    Thanks MrsC! That is really interesting but I love that there is a standard that everyone uses! I also love that the focus is on their content!
     
  14. specialteacher1

    specialteacher1 Rookie

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    MissCeliaB you have taken it one logical step further! That's a great way to look at it and prepare them. I have consistently heard that people use a folder/bin/place to hang missing assignments and if they aren't claimed within a certain time frame then they get pitched. I'm all for attention to detail, I just personally feel taking off points for a student being distracted and forgetting something makes me a hypocrite because I am in no way/shape/form perfect.
     
  15. TamaraF

    TamaraF Companion

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    Nov 19, 2014

    I do not take points off for forgetting names. I tape the work to the board behind my desk, and if it isn't claimed it goes in a file. I do not throw anything out, ever, because we are not allowed to. We must keep all student work that is not handed back for a minimum of one year.
    Spelling and grammar count for marks on formal essays, but not basic comprehension questions.
     
  16. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Nov 19, 2014

    I take points off if the name isn't there, and if it isn't where I told them it should be on the paper. I give them two weeks at the beginning of the year to make mistakes and learn from them, and after that I take points off. They are expected to follow directions, and if they don't then they lose points. I have no issues with kids in my classes not putting their name on their paper, because they hate to lose the points for something so "silly." Some will lose points for lack of name once or twice, and after that, never. And if they do forget, then they have earned the consequences, and the consequences aren't drastic (5 points) but enough to remind them that they needed to do something and didn't do it. This is a normal "life" lesson that "details count"...for example, if they don't follow the MLA format (or whatever format that's required) in college, they'll lose points. If they forget to put their name on a job application, they'll lose the job - I'd rather they learned that "details" lesson in my class than while applying for that job.
     
  17. specialteacher1

    specialteacher1 Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2014

    Cindyblue what grade do you teach?
     
  18. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Nov 21, 2014

    High school, all grades.
     

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