Teachers can send the unit checklist home at the beginning of each Investigations unit along with the unit letter. This gives parents a better idea of what is going to go on during the unit. Sharing it with students beforehand also gives them clearer expectations of what mathematics will be in the upcoming unit.
As for using the checklists, teachers can rate a student on each checklist item such as with a 4 (exceeds the standard), a 3 (reaches the standard), a 2 (partially reaches the standard) or a 1 (well below the standard). We use this 4-3-2-1 rating system because it is similar to how our district's standardized math test scores open ended mathematics responses. This rating can be a combination of the end of unit test items along with ongoing formal and informal assessments. One way to come up with a type of unit average is to add up the totals of all the ratings and then divide by the number of ratings. So, for example, the checklist ratings of 3, 3, 1, 3, 4, 3, 2, and 2 would yield 21/8, a 2.625 average, closer to an overall 3 than a 2. Teachers could also assign weights to certain checklist items if some were deemed more important than others.
Finally, teachers in some districts have been writing scoring rubrics for the end of unit assessments along with samples of student work and even rubrics written for students. In this way teachers across a district can grade with more objectivity while students know what is needed to reach or exceed the standard generally (e.g., this is what a 3 or a 4 response should contain) as well as specifically for a particular item (e.g., this item requires two different solution strategies that use words, numbers or pictures).