October 22, 2007

First report cards

Posted in grading at 3:11 am by mrsmauck

I post my first set of grades tomorrow, and I know I’ve got a bunch of kids who are going to be sorely disappointed. I hate that the grades aren’t so much representative of intelligence, but of good work habits. The kids who follow directions, ask questions and seek my help, and turn things in on time have an A or B. The kids who turn things in late and don’t follow directions have C’s or D’s. The kids with F’s either haven’t turned in at least one major assignment or have turned every assignment in so late that they haven’t gotten passing grades on them.

Every student who has an F in my class failed to read at least one of the two required library books. Next 9 weeks, I’m going to set a halfway point deadline, by which they must have their first book completed. So I feel like many of those zeroes are partly my fault, as my deadline for both books to be completed was the end of the nine weeks. BUT many of the kids who are failing did not read a library book at all! Tomorrow, I’m going to try to target these kids in the library, and help them find books on their reading level and in their range of interest.

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August 22, 2006

Thoughts on Methods…

Posted in grad school, grading at 7:12 pm by mrsmauck

So my Methods class met for the third time yesterday, and we had a kind of roundabout discussion about memorable teachers, extra credit, and finally, grading. The prof said she sees so many high school students in her lower-level Humanities course who think they’ve turned in an A paper, when in reality, it’s a C. The high school grading system is so inflated that students who just meet the baseline objectives are being awarded A’s. Kids who turn in work–no matter how terrible it is–can’t be given lower than a 50 in many cases, my prof said.

My solution to this problem: Rubrics! Kids will know exactly what is required of them for all major assignments, because they’ll have a rubric with each component of the project or paper measured on a 1 to 5 scale, each number representing a specific level of quality, which is described on the rubric. Will this curb grade inflation? What do you do to combat students’ attitudes of entitlement when it comes to grades?