Mr. Hurley's classes 

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How can I find out about my student's grade?

There are two ways to know your student's grade.  The first is to check in School Loop, where I will keep students' overall grades updated at least every week or two.  Second, you may contact me with specific questions at my e-mail address (  This second option is the one for discussing specific assignments, projects, or quizzes/tests.

How do grades work in your Japanese classes?

A student's grade is made up of two components: homework points and quiz/test points.  The homework grade includes all daily assignments as well as occasional class assignments.  The test grade includes the periodic quizzes, the major projects, and the final. 

The grade for the course will be one quarter of the homework average plus three quarters of the quiz/test average.  All grades are cumulative through the semester.  The following scale determines the letter grade:

A          93-100
A-         90-92
B+        87-89
B          83-86
B-         80-82
C+        77-79
C          73-76
C-         70-72
D+        67-69
D          63-66
D-         60-62
F           59 or below 

Sometimes it takes a student a little longer to get a particular concept.  Having difficulty with a particular topic might mean a low quiz grade at some point in the term.  As part of my grading system, a student has the chance to make up a damaging quiz score toward the end of the term by showing his or her mastery of the material through what I call the Pre-Final.

The Pre-Final and the Final are formatted the same way and cover the same content, though the particular test items are different.  The Pre-Final is given approximately two (school) weeks before the Final.  Students have three incentives to do well on the Pre-Final:

1)   The Pre-Final is a big test, approximately equivalent to three to four regular quizzes.

2)   I will take the percentage score of the Pre-Final and apply it to a student's most damaging quiz score, assuming it will help the student.  For example, if a student gets a 90% on the Pre-Final, and earlier in the term the student got an 18 out of 30 on a quiz, I will change that 18 to a 27 (90% of 30).  This is not done for every quiz, but for only the one most damaging to the student's grade.

3)   Students who get an 'A' on the Pre-Final may choose to keep that score for their Final.  They will not need to take the Final, but they will need to show up (on time) the day of the Final (when they may study for another exam or read a book).  Not showing up for the Final means that the student will receive a grade of zero for the Final.  Being tardy for the Final means he or she will have to take the exam.  Not being present or on time for the Final will mean forfeiting the Pre-Final's assistance to an earlier quiz (as described in #2).  Allowing students not to have to take the final gives students who have already shown mastery of the content of the course the opportunity to focus on other exams.

Students will need to develop efficient and effective study habits to earn a good grade in my classes.  Students who may have coasted through a class, studying at the last minute for their exams may find earning a decent grade rather challenging.  Below is a description of how I see each letter grade:

An 'F' means an unacceptable level of mastery of the course content.  Few concepts are well understood, and there are numerous gaps in his or her understanding of general concepts.  Material learned in earlier courses is not easily remembered, and such gaps make learning new material very difficult.

A 'D' means the student somewhat understands the material and can occasionally express an understanding of the material correctly.  There are gaps in his or her command of fundamental material, making learning new concepts difficult.

A 'C' means the student has an average understanding of the material.  He or she has a general understanding of the course topics, but has difficulty showing mastery of the details of the course material.

A 'B' means the student has a good understanding of the material.  General understanding is strong, and many details are well understood.  His or her study habits are good, but not necessarily so strong as to show proper preparation moving towards college-level study of Japanese.

An 'A' means the student has a solid understanding of both general concepts and associated details.  The student has developed an approach to preparation that shows discipline, as well as interest in and attention to, finding and mastering anything on which he or she is weak.  Such a student is well-positioned to succeed in college-level study of Japanese.

It is my goal that students who enter my classes develop both a strong command of Japanese and also a knowledge of how to succeed in any course through effective and efficient study habits.  I invite those with questions to contact me at