Pros/Cons to Grading Kindergarteners

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by myKroom, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I am trying to get myself prepared for an upcoming debate that I know will be taking place at my grade level, Kindergarten. We are revamping our report card to get us up to date. In this process we are looking for consistency in our grading as well. However, we have two distinct styles of grading. We have one teacher who is very pro grading. She takes grades on everything, uses plus and minus on the report card, etc. I am the opposite and feel that an actual grade is very difficult to give a Kindergartener. I use a combination of grades, assessments, and observations to come to my final grading conclusion. No plus or minus! There are two other teachers at our grade level. One is new the other will do whatever someone tells her to do!

    I just want to do what is right for our students. I'm not saying either one is the perfect way, but I need help in coming up with some pros and cons for each of these. I would like your opinions and ideas on what we could do. I want to be prepared to share a valid case and not argue with her!!! I could easily see this turning into an argument because we can both be very opinionated and we both have very strong views!

    Here is an example of the grading system we agreed on:
    3 Consistently apply skill correctly
    2 Some understanding
    1 Little understanding, needs assistance
    0 No understanding

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 22, 2011

    that looks like about what we have.
    I like it better than the plus minus idea, but I wish we didn't grade at all. I feel like when I grade it's just a "best guess".

    We do alot of assessment, observations, etc. I think we grade to simply give parent some idea. I just feel it's a bit misleading.
     
  4. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2011

    Our school still does the "old school" grading system that they did when I was in kindergarten here:

    S - satisfactory
    U - unsatisfactory
    I - improvement needed

    That's it. That's all the kids get on their report cards here. Technically they don't get graded on any paper, unless you count a smiley face for completion as a grade lol Sometimes the teachers may write a little note about whether the child has progressed in fine motor skills or not, but overall the above "grades" are all they get.
     
  5. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2011

    We use a standards based report with all the expectations listed and students are given an E (excellent, beyond expectations), G (good, meeting expectations), S (satisfactory, partial understanding or with assistance) N (needs improvement).

    I believe that it's unfair to grade ANY student on all work. Even in high school. In my opinion, practice work should not be evaluated but used to inform instruction, determine if concepts need to be re-taught or if students need extra support/enrichment. YOu can collect all sorts of "evidence" to show parents and to back up your grading at report time.
     
  6. kme93

    kme93 Companion

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    Jul 23, 2011

    I teach HS, so I might not be the best help. I agree with ^^. I give credit on daily homework like this:
    3 = complete
    2 = late, but complete
    1 = incomplete
    That said, I will grade quizzes/tests. Also, once a week I check homework for completeness and then they have a chance to grade their work. Then they correct their mistakes and I grade the corrected homework. Basically, if they're paying attention and correcting they get 100.

    I know K is much different than HS, but I know that different points of view can help. I hope I helped at least a little!
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 23, 2011

    We don't do grades. We do assessments, observations and portfolios. There is also another observation assessment I like called The Maryland Model of School Readiness. It uses "exemplars" and gives examples of what this looks like for the beginning and end of the year for each area (about 60 of them). (They are available online).

    Then I use that information to decide how to rate the student. I don't remember the exact letters but basically it is rated as proficient, showing progress and not yet showing.

    We use a combination of the MD assessment and basic curriculum goals to ascertain whether they "pass."
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 23, 2011

    Personally at this age I think it should be about the love of learning. I'm hoping even if you do grade, the students aren't yet aware of it. There is a lot of practice in K and learning to be at school and love school. For K, learning is mostly about play, experiencing, forming hypotheses about the things they see, social development and basic skills. I agree with having high execrations but I don't think kne needs to be overly concerned with grading at this age. Observations and assessesment tools are enough. I don't have anything to back me up though.
     

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