Discussion in 'High School' started by inlovewithwords, Jul 19, 2007.

1. ### inlovewithwordsCompanion

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Jul 19, 2007

I'm making my syllabus for my ninth graders and I am trying to figure out how to weight each of my grades. How do teachers reach this kind of outcome:

1. Participation/attendance/behavior 10%
2. Journals/ Class Work 20%
3. homework 20%
4. quizzes and tests 25%
5. book reports and projects 25%

I'm probly just going to go with a points system because I don't get this. Can someone explain. How do you follow these percentages with your grading?

3. ### WindyCityGal606Enthusiast

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Jul 19, 2007

Plug it into your computerized grade book and let the machine do the work! I only used pencil and paper grade books my first year! that was enough!! Teacherease is free for the first year you use it. Go to teacherease.com and get on board! We have enough to do without having to calculate grades!! Let me know how you like it!

4. ### BrendanFanatic

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Jul 19, 2007

I have used weighted grades for years and love it. Basically to calculate a student's total average you would average the grades for each catergory, if all the grades are out of 100 just add them up and divide by the # of grades or do total points earned by points possible. Then once you find each catergories average multiply the catergories average by its corresponding percent. For example after finding the test/quiz average you would multiply it by 25% or .25. Then add all the "weighted catergory averages together" (the averages after they have been multiplied by their appropriate wieghts.

5. ### ancientcivteachHabitué

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Jul 19, 2007

I figure out how much of the end grade I want everything to count. I count formative assessments as half and summative assessments as half - like this:

Classwork/Homework - 15%
Interactive Notebook - 35%
Quizzes - 15%
Final Assessments (Tests and Projects) 35%

I feel that that is balanced - if I used total points I could never be sure that little assignments didn't end up counting more than big assignments. (That being said I have a friend who swearts by total points)

I plug those weights into my gradebook software and that is the last I have to worry about it. When I add an assignment, I tell the program what category it belongs to, and it does all the math. Yeah computers!

6. ### inlovewithwordsCompanion

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Jul 19, 2007

Yes you have totally answered my question and I thank you all. So I can weight my grades with percentages and use a point system within each category right?

7. ### inlovewithwordsCompanion

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Jul 19, 2007

Does this sound right? Tell me if I should change something.
Participation/Attendance/Behavior - 10%
Homework/Classwork- 35%
Reflections- 15%
Quizzes- 10%
Final Assessments (Tests & Projects) - 30%

8. ### WindyCityGal606Enthusiast

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Jul 19, 2007

homework/classwork should have different weights. You never know WHO is doing the actual homework so homework should weigh really low. Tests should have much more weight than anything!! Classwork is practice, practice, practice and shouldno't make too big an impact on final grade. Attendance and participation and behavior should not factor in to an average. What if you're sickly? What is you are shy? What if you misbehave all the time? Assessments, whether informal or formal are what matter. Whether or not I meet a learning standard is to be proven with an effective assessment. I may try many times, beginning with a D or low C before I finally GET IT! Does that mean that when I score a 94 on my test, I should be penalized in my average because I had low scores on my practice assignments (homework and classwork) or because I misbehaved or was absent. My final grade should reflect whether or not I meet the standard. Nothing else. The report card should have different sections for social habits and work habits.

9. ### Caesar753Multitudinous

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Jul 19, 2007

You can make the weights of various types of work worth whatever you like. We all have different rationale for weighing some work more than other work.

Last year when I did a percentage system, I did:

35% Home/classwork
35% Daily quizzes
30% Exams/big projects

I liked my setup because I felt like I ended up with very accurate scores overall and because I felt like it sent the message to kids that everything was important. Sometimes they slack off on the things that are only worth 5-10%. I wanted them to put forth just as much effort with their daily work as they did with their exams.

I didn't like my setup because there was no way to easily integrate participation scores. While I'm not actually grading behavior, I am supposed to grade participation, and many times the two go hand-in-hand. If a student is behaving immaturely and inappropriately, chances are that he is also off-task and not participating. And this needs to be reflected in a student's score.

And since I teach a foreign language, I DO need to find a way to evaluate attendance. Students who don't attend class miss out on valuable information which can't be learned from a textbook or by copying someone else's notes. Pronunciation is one of those things. Learning a foreign language is a process, and I have to evaluate students on their performance in regards to the whole process, not just the end result.

Next year I'm going to a total points system. I'm not going to bother with any sort of percentages or points within a percentage (which I think you mentioned). I'm just going to assign smaller point values to smaller, more frequent assignments/assessments, and larger point values to the bigger ones. This is the way many of my colleagues do it and they really like it. We'll see how it goes.

10. ### greenbean6Companion

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Jul 19, 2007

I have always preferred to be graded on a total points system. Weights tend to be confusing and students have a hard time figuring out their grades on their own. I have only had one teacher/professor grade using weights, it was this past semester and students were always complaining.

11. ### slongeneckerNew Member

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Jul 19, 2007

Before you finalize your syllabus, make sure that you check your school's/district's grading policies. My district dictates that classwork should be worth 90% of the student's grade, with homework making up no more than 10% of that (stupid if you ask me!) and that tests should make up the remaining 10% of their grade. Within the classwork category we are allowed to determine the weights of the grades. This was hard to get used to my first year teaching and I still have problems complying with it sometimes because I don't agree with it.

12. ### MaryhfConnoisseur

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Jul 19, 2007

I also have grade weights dictated by the school. Check some other teachers' websites. They may have their grading system posted. In any case, it will give you ideas about what is common practice at your school.

13. ### Iowa_TeacherRookie

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Jul 19, 2007

Can you use a computer program (like JMC) if you do a point system? Or is that not possible?

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Jul 19, 2007

Don't forget to put room in for a semester exams. My school dictate that it must be between 15 - 25% of the overall grade.

15. ### inlovewithwordsCompanion

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Jul 19, 2007

This is why I'm an English major and not a math major! haha. Okay so if I used a point system would these sound right?
journals- 2 pts. each
homework/classwork- 5-20pts
tests/projects- 25-50pts

16. ### BrendanFanatic

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Jul 19, 2007

I have always done weighted grades with percentages, some years I grade everything out of 100 points and other years I make things have different point values. But I still have catergory weights, basically the point values for each assignment affect how much that assignment affects each catergories average. I keep going back and fourth on my catergory weights, but this is what I have so far:
Algebra I:
50%: Tests
5%: Binders
25%: Quizzes and graded classwork (very infrequent)
20%: Homework

Western Civ:
40%: Tests
15%: Homework
35%: Classwork and Quizzes (CW will be graded every week, but worth less points than a quiz)
10%: Binders

Social Studies 7:
15%: Homework
25%: Classwork and Weekly Notebook Gradings
35%: Tests
15%: Quizzes
10%: End of Unit Notbeook Checks

I am loosing my AP class this year to teach one section of Algebra that they do not have a math teacher to teach, so we will see what happens.

17. ### BrendanFanatic

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Jul 19, 2007

It is really hard to tell their actual affect on your kid's grades untill you determine how many of each assignment you are going to give.

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Aug 8, 2007

I use easygrade pro. It was what my middle school used. It can also calculate grade percentages. It also allows you to keep attendance for each class, which is very important for H.S. classes.

You enter the assignment and then the grade for each student. I really like it. Don't know where you can get hold of a copy though.

I guess you can ask a computer tech.

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21. ### orangepurpleCompanion

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Aug 9, 2007

I haven't finalized my grading system for this year, but I do have some part of the grade based on participation. I explain that a real part of our work is in class, discussion, learning to express opinions orally as well as in writing, in persuasive, civil terms, etc. And that this can only happen in a classroom environment where everyone is prepared for class, listens respectfully to classmates, adds to the discussion in a positive way, contributes to group projects, doesn't disrupt the class. It's important, and it is part of my grading system. I am teaching in a new (to me) school this year, and teachers are required to set up a way to have tardies take away participation points.

As far as the question of points versus percentages, I like to have percentages. I distinguish between quizzes and tests so that I am not averaging a little, easy quiz with a big, hard test. I have found that sometimes students will have trouble estimating their grades this way, so I walk them through it a couple of times during the semester: have them average their quiz grades only with quiz grades, test grades only with test grades, multiply by the percentage, the same way I would do it.

22. ### slongeneckerNew Member

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Aug 9, 2007

Another great electronic gradebook is Thinkwave. It is a free gradebook that allows the students and their parents to access their grades from home via the internet. It also has a built in email so parents can leave you messages. There is a way to post assignments online for students who may have been absent and an area where you can leave work for extra credit. This was my first year using and I love it. Even though my district is requiring us to use their electronic gradebook this year, I will still enter my grades into Thinkwave so the students will know how they are doing and progress reports and report cards won't be a suprise. The website is thinkwave.com and it is 100% FREE!!

23. ### silverspoon65Enthusiast

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Aug 9, 2007

Starting this year, my district is deciding this for us by department, and they are only categorizing assignments as formative or summative. Formative assignments are 30% and Summative are 70%. We may be moving to 20/80 next year. This is partially because teachers are putting too much focus on completion and not enough on mastery. So in my syllabus I will just have to figure out how to explain this to the kiddies.

24. ### BrendanFanatic

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Aug 9, 2007

Silversppon,

You could do something like this..

Grades are divided into two weighted catergories this year:

70%: Summative Assignments
List assignment types

30%: Formative Assignments
List assignment types

25. ### orangepurpleCompanion

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Aug 10, 2007

formative/summative

Silverspoons--that's interesting that your department is dictating that. It makes some sense to think that grades should be weighted towards the summative assessments that theoretically show what the kids have really learned. It's more like college grading too, with no credit given for effort or keeping up on a daily basis wiith your homework.
But high school is not college, and in real life it's hard to get the students to do their daily work, in class or at home, if you can't give them points for it. They are still kind of young to really get the connection between effort and results. even if we keep trying to point it out. (I have had some classes where I display exam grades compared to attendance, # of completed assignments, etc, as there is usually a correlation!)
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in real life. I bet we'll see more schools trying to push a similar system of weighting everything towards certain kinds of summative assessments. Then they're going have too many kids failing, and they'll have to swing back in the other direction! I know some teachers near here have had their schools do that.