Skip to content

Your grade is based upon…

November 25, 2019 pm30 4:20 pm

What factors into the grades we give students?

I teach mathematics. High School mathematics. So that’s what I’m thinking about first. But it’s a question for all of us. All levels. All subjects.

What do you count? Tests? What else?

Quizzes?  Do you grade them like mini-tests? How do they differ from tests?

Participation? Do you try to quantify it? Give points for particular actions? Judge it qualitatively?

Homework? Do you grade the problems? Do you even collect homework? Do you spot check problems? Just check for completeness?

Papers?  Do you have kids write any sort of papers?  I guess in science classes, there are lab reports. In English, essays. In social studies, essays. Term papers? Research papers? Research papers in math or science? Investigations?

Projects? What sort? In what subjects do we do data collection?

Presentations? From power points, or from posters, or from notes?

I am assuming at this point that most of us do not directly assess attendance – but anyone?

Practical assessments (kid demonstrates that they have the skill) – are these just tests in a different form?

What else am I missing?

Which of these do you do? How?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. mike permalink
    November 26, 2019 am30 8:33 am 8:33 am

    This post I read on grading was amazing to me and made a ton of sense.

    • November 26, 2019 pm30 1:06 pm 1:06 pm


      that post is about HOW Kate graded – and I do think it is an interesting approach. Many teachers (me included) have adopted at least part of that approach, if not the fine details.

      My question is more about WHAT we grade.

      I guess Kate’s talking about a quiz-heavy approach, which I prefer to test-heavy. But there’s more than just quizzes and tests.

  2. JBL permalink
    December 2, 2019 am31 11:38 am 11:38 am

    I’m teaching at the college level, but in undergrad classes I’ve always relied heavily on tests (i.e., rare, high-stakes, typically an hour or longer), secondarily on weekly problem sets (unsupervised), and occasionally on quizzes (like tests but lower stakes, shorter, perhaps more frequent). I don’t try to grade participation or attendance, but I always allow wiggle-room in my syllabus based on it. At the math major level, I grade homework in detail (every problem, with comments); at the lower level (e.g., calculus), I ask my TA to grade one or two problems carefully every week, then broadly look for completeness. (I also assign not-to-be-handed-in exercises with more of an emphasis on rote learning.) I would like to rely more heavily on p-sets, but the unsupervised nature makes that dodgy as far as aligning grades with effort and skill. I have never assigned papers, but I expect students to provide (level-appropriate) explanations on homework and exams.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: