Monday, July 16, 2012

T is for "Taking Grades"

I am behind on my Blogging Through the Alphabet posts. Last week was "T" and recently a commenter asked how I take grades for my students.

For Brynne, I don't take grades. I do keep a daily planner where I record everything she is doing. But, I do not assign grades and likely won't until she is in high school. The same goes for Eli this upcoming year. My kids do like to see a 100% written on a paper sometimes, so if it's a math page or something "gradeable", I will do that occasionally.

Since Dawson was a freshman last year, I did take grades for him. I used the same style planner page as I used for Brynne and recorded each and every assignment or activity he did (including read-a-louds). Next to each assignment I would use a red pen and assign points earned (including read-a-louds). For instance, if he had a notebooking page, they were typically worth 15 points if he did the required 7-9 sentences. I didn't "grade" them. He just got participation points. (On read-a-louds, he earned 30 to 45 points a day, typically a point per minute he listened.)

On "gradeable" assignments, such as grammar, math, and worksheets, he received the number of points of correct answers.

At the end of each week, I pulled out my planner pages and transferred the assignments and grades to a free online gradebook called Engrade. This gradebook allowed me to keep track of his actual grades and his assignments. I could also print a calendar for each subject that would show which assignments he did which days. This was a good record-keeping tool for me.

Taking grades and Engrade have ended up being a good idea for me. It looks as though Dawson will be returning to public school in the fall because of our move back to my childhood hometown. Enrolling him in school will be a snap because I will have all of my information ready to show the school counselor. For instance, we completed an enriching year of American History last year, and I will be able to show that to the counselor so that he can move onto World History with the other sophomores at the school. And, he has his actual grades from this year that can be transferred to his transcript at school.

Join Marcy at Ben and Me for Blogging Through the Alphabet. If you don't want to jump into the middle this go 'round, I hear she will be starting back with "A" soon. It's been really fun. You should join.

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