Q&A #5103

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Grading policy

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From: Jan Engberg

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2012082512:52:51
Subject: Grading policy

Hi Jennifer,
As a middle school teacher in California with over 200 students each
year, handling homework is a major burden and yet a necessary evil. 
Students need the daily practice and, at the middle school level
anyway, if students don't think you are going to look at their work
closely, their effort and quality of work rapidly diminishes.  But
looking at every assignment ever day can be daunting.  So, here's what
I have settled on for this year, teaching Advanced Pre-Algebra to 6th
and 7th graders.

I stamp everyone's homework at their seat daily at the beginning of
each class while students are either correcting their homework or
completing a warm up activity.  Next, we discuss any questions
students may have or any problem I might want to highlight.  Finally,
I randomly collect from 25% - 100% of the classes work to review and
score more closely each day.  Looking closely at their papers still
gives me a good pulse of the class as a whole, while the random
collection keeps them "honest."

This year I am also implementing an interactive student notebook in my
lessons.  I want my class time to be spent more on investigation,
application, and critical thinking.  Because students will be working
more with an interactive notebook instead of a traditional 'copy these
notes and examples' I believe I will also have more opportunity to
check for understanding.  My class periods are short:  43 minutes, so
I need to maximize my time with my students as much as possible. 
These notebooks will be collected at the end of each unit/chapter and
assigned a rubric score.

75% Assessments - tests, quizzes, benchmarks, final exams,..
5% Projects - one major project each semester - History of Math &
Equal Area Mobile Project
10% Homework - 5 points a day for completeness, effort, and neatness.
10% Interactive Notebook

Probably more information than you wanted, but hope it helps!

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