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Grading Tip #1 (from KOLBe-JOURNAL Volume 2)

 
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Grading Tip #1 (from KOLBe-JOURNAL Volume 2)
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Anastasia DuPuis



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1454

Post Grading Tip #1 (from KOLBe-JOURNAL Volume 2) Reply with quote
AMDG
After an in-depth grading tutorial this week with one our moms, I decided grading might be a good topic to discuss. Over the next couple of months we will include some tips for grading in the KOLBe-JOURNAL.

In this post, you will find a link to two files as described in the December issue of the KOLBe-JOURNAL (which will be sent out on Friday, November 30). The first is a little information on grading and the second is a sample copy of a grade book done in Excel. If you know how to use the Excel program, you may want to use this as a template or even copy it and tailor it to meet your own needs. Either way, by clicking in the boxes and looking at the formula bar near the top of the page you can get a pretty good understanding of how to track and compute your grades using Excel. Also, it can give you a good idea of how to weight and average grades. Over the next few months we will try to offer insight into many of the various aspects of grading.

Information on Grading
Example Gradebook

In Christ,

_________________
Anastasia DuPuis
Kolbe Academy Home School
Academic Advisor
Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:41 pm View user's profile Send private message
Cathy



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 19

Post why grade daily work? Reply with quote
I don't think I understand why grades should be given daily. In a subject such as math, aren't the problems supposed to be used for practice until mastery is achieved? It doesn't seem fair to grade on something the child is just learning as long as they are trying their best. Can you explain? Thanks. Cathy
Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:10 pm View user's profile Send private message
Love the Lorax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 64

Post Reply with quote
Thank you for these, and I am looking forward to reading the upcoming installments. I would also agree that I don't see the need to grade things like math daily, since many days are simply working and learning the concepts.

Thanks again!
Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:38 pm View user's profile Send private message
Megan Lengyel



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 2443
Location: Alpharetta, GA; formerly, Napa, CA; originally St. Louis, MO

Post Reply with quote
Anastasia DuPuis wrote:
Correct math and high school science assignments right away and return by the following day so the student can correct any errors and move ahead on firm ground.


I'm not sure if this is specifically the part you are referring to in Anastasia's article, but what I think she meant here is to check to make sure your child is doing the work correctly right away, since math and science (and language too!) builds quickly (daily, even) on itself. This doesn't mean you have to give an actual percentage or letter grade on the work, but it should be "corrected" by you immediately, so that the child does not continue to make similar mistakes as the material builds and becomes tougher. Grading daily math will help you "see that they have the concepts or facts." Again, you could attach a grade to daily work (and even let these daily grades help their final grade), or you can do something as simple as circling the incorrect answers and steps and assign a checkmark that the assignment was done.

Hope this helps some!

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Megan Lengyel
Kolbe Academy Home School
Online Academy Director
Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:34 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
gna



Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 1

Post Reply with quote
Thanks Anastasia for this information. I look forward to the information on grading compositions. As a mom who is only temporarily homeschooling this year, it is necessary for me to have a system of grading daily work and calculating quarterly grades so that I can provide accurate transcripts for my child when applying for entrance to prospective schools next year. I appreciate your understanding the need for this advice!
Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:13 pm View user's profile Send private message
Anastasia DuPuis



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1454

Post Reply with quote
AMDG

Thanks for the questions. As Megan "quoted" the primary reason for grading daily work is to identify errors as they are being made, rather than trying to forge ahead on broken foundations only to come to the end of the particular quarter or unit to find that your student is way off the mark and now very confused too. I have certainly seen it time and again when teaching that if I failed to grade studentsí work promptly (especially with elementary children) and kept on moving forward, they would make some tiny mistake that would throw them off.
It is like hiking with a compass. If they get off by one degree of the compass in the beginning and you let them walk a hundred miles before checking that they are on course--well now they will be miles off the mark! Believe me, trying to correct that mistake is hard and much less effective than correcting it when it is initially made because you didn't give them time to set the error as their mode of operation. On the other hand if you catch that error right there at the beginning, it can be corrected with a tiny adjustment to put them on the right course.
Grading daily is an inconvenience to you as the teacher initially, but it is a lifesaver for your students and will ultimately help them excel. Also, I think you will find your students are a lot (a lot!) happier when you do, too. They will experience significantly fewer headaches due to the confusion of trying to build new ideas on faulty foundations, and they will have more confidence in you knowing that you will catch their mistakes and let them know right away. I think there are few things more infuriating and depressing to students than the uneasy feeling they have when they don't know HOW well they are progressing, and have the possibility that one morning after you have finished grading their tests and such, they may have to repeat all the work they have been laboring at for days, weeks or even months.

There are many reasons for grading daily work; in my eyes those are the most important. Here are a few others:
1) By grading daily/regularly the student has a measure against which to gauge his work and it gives him immediate feedback for improvement, correction and reward. It shows him how and where to focus his energy (i.e Do I need to spend more time on my papers? Am I missing a concept? Is my handwriting in need of improvement? Do I need to use transitions to connect my ideas? Are my thoughts unclear? Do I need to work on the spelling? Etc.).
Students need praise. Don't give empty praise but DO PRAISE THEM regularly for their victories great and small. They need to see the fruits of their labor and be rewarded for good fruit, improvement and hard work; they also need solid ideas of how to correct their weaknesses and errors from day to day.

2) I know this is not in vogue even to suggest (as they say in The Incredibles we are a society that keeps "creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317705/quotes)), but competition is one of the greatest motivational aids in education. If you don't grade often your students have no measure of failure and success and therefore have no impetus to strive for true excellence in their academics. By grading you give them that mark on that days work with which they can compete against their own academic history, your expectation, and general expectations for students in at their grade level.

3) Also, by grading daily, particularly for elementary students, you get a more true idea of their work. With high school students it is normal to base a large percentage of their final grade on the exam(s) because they are expected to be retaining and mastering the material; in elementary school the primary aim is to obtain the tools of education and DEVELOP excellent habits. If you are not grading work regularly, you are not encouraging the consistent development of these good habits.

I could go on about grading for days but I will refrain. Hope these thought on the subject are helpful. God bless and have a Blessed Advent!

_________________
Anastasia DuPuis
Kolbe Academy Home School
Academic Advisor
Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:41 am View user's profile Send private message
mpomeroy



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 19

Post Grading Help Reply with quote
I'm computer dependent and everything we do in our house is on the computer (my husband is a network specialist and I do graphics and web design for our church). Hence the need for computerized grading. I found a program called Homeschool Tracker. The basic program is a free download and it is so easy to use. You put in your schedule, assignments, etc and it averages the grades and prints a variety of preformatted reports for you. It has room for comments on assignments which has been great for me because I track when my daughter has trouble because of mood swings or difficulty with the actual subject being learned. It also keeps track of attendence, field trips and much more. Here's the link if anyone is interested.

http://www.homeschooltracker.com/tracker_basic.aspx
Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:49 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
rjrmommy



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 92

Post Re: Grading Tip #1 (from KOLBe-JOURNAL Volume 2) Reply with quote
[quote="Anastasia DuPuis"]AMDG

In this post, you will find a link to two files as described in the December issue of the KOLBe-JOURNAL (which will be sent out on Friday, November 30). The first is a little information on grading and the second is a sample copy of a grade book done in Excel. If you know how to use the Excel program, you may want to use this as a template or even copy it and tailor it to meet your own needs. Either way, by clicking in the boxes and looking at the formula bar near the top of the page you can get a pretty good understanding of how to track and compute your grades using Excel. Also, it can give you a good idea of how to weight and average grades. Over the next few months we will try to offer insight into many of the various aspects of grading.

Information on Grading
Example Gradebook

Where can I find the other Grading Topics mentioned including Setting Up and Keeping a Grade Book; How to find an Average; How to Weight a Grade; and Grading Compositions for Elementary Students?
Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:59 pm View user's profile Send private message
Megan Lengyel



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 2443
Location: Alpharetta, GA; formerly, Napa, CA; originally St. Louis, MO

Post Reply with quote
If you look through our e-journal archive, all teaching and grading tips are there. Grading tips took a hiatus during the summer. I am sure Anastasia will begin to include more in future e-journals as well.

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Megan Lengyel
Kolbe Academy Home School
Online Academy Director
Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:27 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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