Q&A #5103

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Grading policy

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From: Susan Socha <ssocha@fc.fcps.k12.va.us>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001011914:20:43
Subject: Homework and grading policies for high school

I've tried just about every homework grading method that has been
around in my 25+ years of teaching, and I'm still changing, and open
to change.  The goal is to get students to do their homework, and be
sure that they learn from that experience.  Keeping that in mind,
here's what I do now.  (It could change next year!)  Each student is
given a sheet with the next five assignments listed, with a space for
them to write the due date and a space for me to check it off.  Each
day, I check to see if the homework is complete.  If it is, they get a
stamp on their sheet.  The stamp is worth twenty points.  If it is
half done, they get half a stamp, etc.  At the bottom, are places to
give students bonus stamps for doing problems on the board, asking
astute questions, participating in the MathForum PoW etc.  They are
worth one point each (This gives them a way to make up points if
they've left their homework at home etc.).  After five assignments are
completed, I collect the sheet and give it a grade, which can be over
100%.  This grade is then averaged with other grades.  Usually, I
collect 3-4 sheets a quarter.  It takes four homework sheets to make
one test (so they don't count as much as regular grades).  This takes
care of the first goal, which is to provide an incentive to get them
to do their homework.  But...we all know that cheating is rampant, so
to assess the second goal, I give a "quick quiz" each class period. 
This quick quiz is usually ten questions based on their homework and
the previous day's lecture.  It occurs after we go over the homework.
We're on block scheduling--if we were on a regular schedule, I would
give the quiz every other day.  Make sure the quizzes have single
concept questions that assess the homework and current ideas so that
they don't take too long to finish.  I throw out 40% of the Quick Quiz
grades, just in case they didn't get a concept the first time round. 
With this two pronged system, I feel that I am getting a good idea of
what the students know, plus, they have some motivation for doing
their homework.  This was long winded, but I hope it helps! 	

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