Not giving zeroes

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    563

    Sep 8, 2018

    Does anyone else not give zeroes if a kid completed an assignment? I'm thinking of having a policy where the lowest score they can receive if they tried a classwork assignment is a 50%. (Maybe not for tests and quizzes). This ensures that a kid's grade won't be unbalanced because of a zero. My district suggested this policy as well.
     
  2.  
  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    463

    Sep 8, 2018

    What if a kid has tried and completed the entire assessment in earnest but hasn’t reached 50% mastery yet or if a kid has attempted less than 50% of the assessment and left the rest blank or if a kid has written “rubbish” answers to “complete” the assessment so he’s not in trouble. Would you view these situations equally and give each kid 50% or how would you differentiate the different scenarios to make it “fair”.
     
    Aces, Hokiegrad1993 and 2ndTimeAround like this.
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    563

    Sep 8, 2018

    ^
    That's why I was thinking of not using this policy for assessments, but just classwork. I'm really not sure though!!
     
  5. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    463

    Sep 8, 2018

    Would classwork count towards their overall grade? If it does, it should be fair to all students.
    If it doesn’t then perhaps not giving a grade or percentage, but rather just a “sighted” initial from you?
     
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    563

    Sep 8, 2018

    Classwork is 40% of their grade.
     
  7. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    463

    Sep 8, 2018

    Wow that’s a huge chunk! In my opinion, if it counts for so much of the overall grade then the grading needs to be based on merit. I have students who try their hearts out and work their behind off for every assessment but always get a D grade. I always have a quiet chat to them before I give them the grade to say that regardless of what the grade says, I’m so proud of their effort and so impressed by their attitude. Even though they haven’t passed yet, they will eventually if they keep trying and never give up. I also use the Dylan Williams feedback tip where I give students a + - = on their assessment to let students know if they have improved, gone backwards or stayed the same in relation to their last assessment. The students who never give up and keep working hard almost always improve or stay the same and that’s encouraging to them too. That’s my two cents.
     
    bella84 and TrademarkTer like this.
  8. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    193

    Sep 8, 2018

    I'm with rpan on this.
    In my mind, I always have to consider what the purpose of the homework might be before I assign and assess it so I can have a clear reaction to all of the scenarios before I know to whom they might apply, if that makes sense. I always have those kids whose situations tug at my heart, so I have to determine all of that before it starts happening. :) Some homework given reveals whether or not a student understood the lesson, some gives added practice, some is to give room to explore and some is to challenge. So, before I assign it, I look at my purpose and then get a rubric in mind. (For a challenge/exploratory homework: you tried several or all- 100%; you didn't turn it in and didn't try 0%; you made an attempt on the first one or two before quitting 70% . Kids know that I have a three pronged rubric for these kinds of homework. I'll state that this homework is a challenge and it is an easy 100% if you try all of it. Then, I'm getting everyone to try something challenging, which was my goal. On something that is mastery measurement of a lesson it is based on correct answers on a 100% scale. Then, I'm meeting my goal of seeing which students need more help and which have mastered it. I teach math, by the way.) I hope I'm making sense, but when it is almost half the grade, you will really have to be judicious in how you assign homework and what you make those assignments to make it a valid part of the grade.
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,324
    Likes Received:
    553

    Sep 8, 2018

    I think giving 50% for work not done is a bad policy. I wouldn't do it. If you do zero work, then you get a zero.

    Is your district fine with teachers doing no work but getting half of their pay? If so, please tell me how I can transfer!
     
  10. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,020

    Sep 8, 2018

    I agree that you can't give them something for nothing. That said, if you are worried about the effect of a 0, perhaps you can grade using letter grades/the 4 point scale for classwork, and then translate back to a percentage later.

    Here's how it would work (obviously you can adjust as needed)
    93-100=4
    90-92=3.7
    87-89=3.3
    83-86=3
    80-82=2.7
    77-79=2.3
    73-76=2
    70-72=1.7
    67-69=1.3
    60-66=1
    Below 60=0

    For instance, if you grade on a percentage scale, and a student gets 0, 70, and 90, they average out to 53.33%, which is an F, even though 2 of the scores were passing. In the 4 scale, 0 would still be 0, 70 would be 1.7, and 90 would be 3.7. This averages to 1.8. 1.8 is closer to 1.7 than to 2 so if you needed to convert the student back to a percentage grade for the purposes of report cards, it would be somewhere between 70-72%, likely 71. This mitigates the effect of the 0.

    As a disclaimer, I don't use this scale, but I would prefer something like this over just giving credit for nothing.
     
  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,412
    Likes Received:
    1,160

    Sep 8, 2018

    I'm guessing you're not standards-based? I don't give grades based on classwork, unless it's a summative assessment of sorts. If they choose not to do an assignment, I don't think it's right to immediately jump to a 0 (or a '1' in SBG), nor is it right to immediately give a 50. Neither likely accurately describe that child's understanding, and there's likely some other underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    563

    Sep 8, 2018

    My principal suggested making classwork a larger percentage of their grade. We don't do standards based grading but we might be moving towards it. I'm happy with my breakdown because tests/quizzes are 45%.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,096
    Likes Received:
    2,248

    Sep 8, 2018

    The lowest score we can give if work was done is an F, 65%.
     
  14. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,020

    Sep 8, 2018

    The only issue with that in my mind is that you have less than half the grade based on summative assessments (i.e. what the student knows and can do independently and verifiably). Our district policy at the middle and high school levels is 80% tests/quizzes and 20% classwork/homework (I tell my students that's the "freebie" 20% so I can't imagine a "freebie" 55%). I love that it promotes consistency between buildings and classrooms.
     
    mathmagic likes this.
  15. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    563

    Sep 8, 2018

    It might be different based on districts. Our principal looks at our gradebook and I was told he does not like to see scores that are too low. This is why I was thinking of the no zero policy. A lot of classwork will be graded on correctness as well. For example, kids wrote math journals last week that I graded on correctness.

    My classwork/homework is actually 45%. Summative assessments are 55%.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,324
    Likes Received:
    553

    Sep 8, 2018

    When he says that, do you ask him what he is doing to improve the learning and work ethic of students throughout the school? Do you ask him how he is fighting generational animosity towards education? Generational poverty?

    I had two admin say something similar to me. One I asked "what would you specifically do to increase the LEARNING of these students?" and invited him to come to my room and re-teach the lessons that apparently I had bombed. He had no suggestions. Another admin commented on the low grades and I said that was what the students earned. I obviously was successful with the students that did well on the assessments, so what did she want me to do? Did she want me to falsify the grade book? To mark the students as proficient in a standard when they clearly were not and had not desire to change that for themselves? Again, no suggestions.
     
  17. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,412
    Likes Received:
    1,160

    Sep 8, 2018

    This would worry me. I'd prefer admin to not be purposefully ballooning the scores, but rather trying to assess why student scores are so low, and addressing the underlying issue causing that.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,644
    Likes Received:
    1,537

    Sep 8, 2018

    How is this any different than giving a 60 as the lowest grade?
     
  19. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,020

    Sep 8, 2018

    Because it's giving a 0 as the lowest grade. Again, it's not a scale I actually use, but if push came to shove, I would condense the currently wide "F" range this way instead.
     
  20. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,412
    Likes Received:
    1,160

    Sep 8, 2018

    Mathematically, your conversions effectively create the '0' as a '60' in their respective grading scales. If you're meaning just the shock-element of the student getting a '0', then yes, that would allow for that. However, as a2z said, there's no effect on the scoring system otherwise.
     
  21. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,020

    Sep 8, 2018

    Sure, but it's a nicer packaging that allows you to give out 0s still without them being as devastating by condensing the "F" range in the way the other ranges are condensed.
     
  22. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,412
    Likes Received:
    1,160

    Sep 8, 2018

    Could you explain what you mean by "devastating"? As I read it, I'm hearing a connotation that denotes that the a 0 (in 0-4) vs. 60 (in 60-100) leads to a different overall grade/result. However, it doesn't. That's the confusion a2z and I are having. Condensing the F range and utilizing the 0-4 range in the way you're describing is no different, with the exception of the latter being extra work, at least from what I can see.
     
    futuremathsprof and a2z like this.
  23. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,835
    Likes Received:
    1,060

    Sep 8, 2018

    :yeahthat:
     
  24. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,020

    Sep 8, 2018

    The difference EXCLUSIVELY is that you can say....you don't do your homework, that's a zero!!!!!

    Listen I give 0s so it was a hypothetical different way to package it. I'm not married to because I don't use it so we don't have to get our panties in a bunch over the wrapping paper.
     
    mathmagic likes this.
  25. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,412
    Likes Received:
    1,160

    Sep 8, 2018

    Well, first, I don't wear that kind of underwear being a guy ;) , and don't worry, I'm not!

    I was simply curious if there was something I was missing. That's what I was wondering about: if your idea behind it was solely around the shock value of the zero, vs. there being an actual mathematical difference. Thank you for clarifying that!
     
    a2z likes this.
  26. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,324
    Likes Received:
    553

    Sep 8, 2018

    I LIKE the shock value of a zero. Kids in high school NEED to know that they get nothing if they give nothing.
    I don't have any problem with giving second chances. Allowing a child another day to submit work. But giving grades for work not done isn't my style.
     
  27. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,835
    Likes Received:
    1,060

    Sep 8, 2018

    This. Exactly this!
     
  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,096
    Likes Received:
    2,248

    Sep 8, 2018

    I think that having this discussion about fifth graders is a little different than having the same discussion about high school students. Just a personal opinion.
     
    bella84 and mathmagic like this.
  29. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,835
    Likes Received:
    1,060

    Sep 8, 2018

    Why is it that special considerations need to constantly be made for elementary students all of a sudden? Students did just fine with traditional grading and grade weights in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. How are they going to cope when they get to middle school and high school?
     
  30. MathGuy31

    MathGuy31 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    10

    Sep 8, 2018

    I believe that zero's should be given under the right circumstances . As well as other disciplinary actions that correlate with the school. Staying in at recess, detention, and other things. But yes, zero's should be given if the student is just plainly not doing work for no logical reason. Parents/counselors should be intervened as well if this is a regular occurrence.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  31. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,096
    Likes Received:
    2,248

    Sep 9, 2018

    Primarily I was concerned by the amount of weight that classwork is given in OP's 5th grade class - 55%. I teach HS, and classwork typically counts for no more that 20%, sometimes even 15%. Tests, quizzes, and projects make up the bulk of the grade - 80%-85%. Personally, I would find a better way to make some of that classwork grade a true assessment grade, which would allow her to restructure her percentages to something more like HS, but if she maintains that classwork will be the majority of the grade I would hesitate to give a zero for work done incorrectly. They can fail to get the assignment correct, earning an F, which is still a 65, not a zero, but a zero should be reserved for someone who sat through the entire period without even trying to do the work. If the kid who does nothing gets the same zero as the kid who tried, but didn't master the assignment (did it incorrectly), how long do you think it will take for the kid who used to try to just do nothing, too? All of this is just my opinion, of course, but I see a major difference between wrong answers with work versus absolutely no attempt to do the work.
     
    ms.irene and Ms.Holyoke like this.
  32. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    563

    Sep 9, 2018

    I teach 6th grade but I agree that 6th grade is very different from high school.

    For classwork, I will be grading some of it on mastery depending on the assignments. Kids will get some completion grades, but will also get grades for exit tickets and other classwork assignments based on mastery.
     
  33. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,096
    Likes Received:
    2,248

    Sep 9, 2018

    Sorry about that! My point was simply that HS grades are more likely to be 80/15/5 tests and quizzes/classwork/projects, a lower functioning class may be 70/20/10, tests and quizzes/classwork/projects, to even 85/10/5 in Honor's, tests and quizzes/classwork/projects. Admittedly I teach science, but I am math savvy enough to know that a zero with the HS division of how grades are calculated is not the same as 55% classwork that the 6th grade is using.

    I might suggest a modification to how you calculate your grades, however. Instead of letting classwork be that whopping 55%, how about breaking it down into something like 20/20/15, classwork/exit tickets/mastery? Or even putting exit tickets with tests and quizzes, so that you end up with 65% of the grade is based on mastery via testing. Do the classwork, and most likely that grade will go up for mastery will go up, but you wouldn't sink your grade totally for occasionally being off task.

    Before I get hammered for that statement, I just want to recognize that everyone carries what is going on in their life into the work place on occasion. This includes teachers and students. The teachers may realize what is happening and be able to change things in their lives to rectify the situation - very few sixth graders have the same insight or means to do the same.

    I know that you asked about giving zeroes, but maybe the grade layout is the issue, not the occasional zero. With the grades driven by test and assessment scores, the grade will be evaluated by mastery, which should be the goal.
     
  34. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    563

    Sep 9, 2018

    ^
    I already got my grade breakdown approved and can't change it. However, classwork is 40%, assessments are 45%, and homework is 5%.
     
  35. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,096
    Likes Received:
    2,248

    Sep 9, 2018

    Just curious - do the exit tickets count as assessments or classwork?
     
  36. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    563

    Sep 9, 2018

    Classwork
     
  37. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2018
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    148

    Sep 13, 2018

    While I do see what you are saying, personally, grading based on effort is a lot better because grading homework for accuracy is simply not necessary. Grading homework for accuracy occasionally is acceptable, but not for every homework assignment. If a child puts in the effort, they should receive a 100% or a 95% (if a lot of the assignment is incorrect).
    I do, however, check over my student's homework very closely. I will put in a completion grade or no grade at all. A student who put forth effort on a homework assignment (unless it is specifically an at-home quick check) will NEVER receive below a 90%.
     
  38. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    463

    Sep 13, 2018

    Could you explain your reasoning as to why you think grading for accuracy isn’t as important as grading for effort? Would you be comfortable giving a student who tries very very hard a high overall grade, even if they haven’t shown a high level of mastery?
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  39. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,644
    Likes Received:
    1,537

    Sep 14, 2018

    You can't really ever grade for effort when you don't see the students working. Even then, putting something on paper isn't necessarily effort for the person who understands the material very well. It is more a function of compliance.

    There are students who put little to no effort into assignments and get everything right because it is too far below where they are and kids who struggle, even in their heads thinking about what to do, who are actually working harder. The product doesn't show the effort put in.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  40. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    58

    Sep 14, 2018

    The problem with a zero is how far below a passing grade it puts a student.
    F = 0-59% - 60 percentage points to move to a D
    D = 60-69% - 10 percentage points to move to a C
    C = 70-79% - 10 percentage points to move to a B
    B = 80-89% - 10 percentage points to move to an A
    A = 90-100%

    I get the shock value of a 0, but it makes such a drastic difference on a student's overall grade that some may just give up. I worked with students in an emotional support high school classroom. I had a student with a 15% average and very little motivation to bring that up because "what's the point if I'm going to fail anyway". If they had a 55% average it wouldn't have seemed like such a lofty goal.
     
  41. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,412
    Likes Received:
    1,160

    Sep 14, 2018

    I think that helping students not give up can fall in a different category, i.e. working with them to provide opportunities to make up work down the line...otherwise you're essentially valuing a student's work that completed half of something about the same as a student's, well, lack of any work.
     
    a2z likes this.
  42. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,644
    Likes Received:
    1,537

    Sep 14, 2018

    Can't the same be said for any student who isn't learning? They give up because they see no purpose in trying to master something they aren't understanding? Aside from telling everyone they are doing fine, you will never get rid of this problem completely. Standards based grading goes a way to eliminate some of this because a student can be successful with some standards and unsuccessful with others rather than having 1 grade trying to represent 10 different standards.

    At least with a zero for no completed work you can point to a very specific reason why the grade is so low. The work was not done. If this is part of homework and an exception not a rule, it won't tank a student's overall grade. If it is habitual or for work that constitutes a large percentage of their overall grade for things such as tests, quizzes, and projects, I can see it tanking a grade.

    I guess the question is, if the students is taking tests, quizzes, and doing projects all at high levels and successfully, doesn't that indicate they are mastering the material? Should homework and even some classwork, if it is not part of a major project, matter if those things are being done to help students learn the material?
     
    mathmagic likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. MrsC,
  2. skyline,
  3. vickilyn,
  4. txmomteacher2,
  5. catnfiddle,
  6. MissCeliaB,
  7. Backroads
Total: 202 (members: 8, guests: 174, robots: 20)
test