The school year has just begun and so far you’ve been
getting to know your students and assessing where they are individually. Who has been thinking about grades? Well . . .believe it or not they’re just
around the corner.
every ten weeks. In my district,
however, we also have the five week progress reports. . .which essentially are
the same as grades. So, how do you fairly assess where your students are this early in the school year? This is the perfect
time for a multi-disciplinary assignment.
One where you can get at least 2 grades from one assignment. If I teach a social studies lesson, and have students write a response about what we’re studying that assignment is both a social studies grade and a writing grade. This can be done with math and science, or reading and writing as well. Morning meetings are great for assessing students for listening and speaking grades.
every grade does not need to be based
on a test or quiz. Simple assignments like a page in a math book
can be great. When grading regular in
class assignments remember to use a fair rubric for your students – effort truly
counts if you’re grading an assignment on a skill you just taught. My philosophy has always been that by using
more assignments to assess my students’ grades, the fairer their grades will
be. If I use a page from a math
workbook, I pick a page that my students had plenty of time to work on, and an
assignment that I was able to circulate through the classroom and assist
students with. Then when I grade the
page I use a very simple assessment like a check, check plus or check
minus. This way, if students get most of
the page correct it’s a check plus (B).
For my students who have fully completed each problem correctly it’s a
check ++ (A). If they have most of the
page completed with a decent amount of it correct it’s a check (C). If most of the page is incomplete or
incorrect it’s a check minus (D). If a
child put forth no effort whatsoever it’s an F.
Using a system like this you can walk around with a pen, and a classlist
and quickly put a grade on each student’s page and in your gradebook.