Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grading Policy - Report Cards

How many of you have to give a letter grade to your kiddos?  I was shocked when I found out we had to give our kiddos an actual percentage grade for their assignments.  And we have to have 18 grades for each subject for the marking period.  That means twice a week we have to make sure the kiddos are doing an assignment that shows their individual ability and we can actually put a grade on.  We have decided that this year we will be grading homework and spelling tests to meet our quota for language arts and math facts tests, math homework, and math unit tests to meet our quota for math.  Science and social studies get a combined grade so we only need 9 grades for each of them.  We ended up using a lot of Scholastic News and the supplemental materials last year.  This year, I'm going to try harder to create formal assessments.  Even if they are only 5 questions, at least it will be something.

I did find this rubric that I really like for writing.  You can click on the picture to take you to the Google Doc.  I would give credit if I could, but there are only photos of it circulating on Pinterest.  None of them seem to take you to an actual blog or teacher's website.

Even this rubric is hard to use because we spend so much time editing our writing in first grade.  I used it once last year for a reading packet I made and it worked pretty well.  Even though all the kiddos had to do was copy exactly what I had on the board, it was still very clear who could do the listed tasks and who could not.  I like this rubric because I think it's pretty straight forward for parents.  Oh, be careful when you are grading because you will notice that there are 3 extra points built into the grade. (9 categories x 3 points each = 27 points, but the total at the top is 30.)

Oh back to report cards...we then had to go through every single Oklahoma standard and give the kiddo a number rating (1 - mastered, 2 - developing, 3 - needs improvement.)  Needless to say most of the teachers filled in "2" for almost every category, because very few students had mastered anything.  The only "good" part was that there wasn't a parent who could comprehend the mile long report card that printed out so no one ever questioned their grades.

Now flashforward to this year and we were informed that our report cards would be changing.  There will be less categories (thank heavens), but they will not align with Common Core!!!!  Ugh!  Are you kidding me?  Why can't we just use the CC standards?  There are half as many of them as there were Oklahoma standards and if we have to use them...let us really use them.

What are your thoughts on grading?  What does your district do?

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