English Grading Policy

Overview

  • I use a standards-based grading system.
  • Students do not receive "points."
  • Students are assessed on standards using a rubric of 1-4.
  • Scores on the rubrics will be entered into the gradebook but will not be averaged into a letter grade.
  • Students and I will determine their letter grade at the quarter marks, but only the semester grades are final.
  • Students have the opportunity to redo or retake any assessment.

Rubric Score

4 = Above Standard

3 = Meeting Standard

2 = Near Standard

1 = Below Standard

Overall Grade

A = I scored mostly 4s on the standards.

B = I scored a mix of 3s and 4s on the standards, with no 2s.

C = I scored a mix of 2s and 3s on the standards, with no 1s.

D = I scored a mix of 1s and 2s on the standards.

F = I scored mostly 1s on the standards.

Why Standards Based Grading?

Grades are supposed to communicate to adults and students how well a student is performing in a class. When all scores are lumped together and averaged, important information is lost. By reporting scores of 1-4 on specific standards, I am trying to give everyone accurate information on a student's ability in the class.

Additionally, by removing the "points game," I can help students focus on learning instead of grades. I can give feedback without the fear of the negative grade. I work hard to build intrinsic motivation for the hard work of reading, writing, speaking and listening well. I build motivation through interest, choice, and relevance. I try not to use coercion through points.

I have spent a lot of time reading the research and theory of educational experts such as Robert Marzano and Rick Wormeli. Wormeli uploaded the video to the right to help explain the differences between A-F and 1-4 grading. If you would like to learn more about SBG, Google these two educational leaders.

In the end, the important thing is that there is a path of communication between all stakeholders. I will do my best to help keep everyone informed. Read below to see about keeping your child accountable without grades. Otherwise, please contact me if you need more information.

Accountability without Grades

Many parents use Powerschool, homework grades, and test scores to know whether or not their student is working hard in school and doing well. To many, the standards-based grading system feels foreign and disconnected. You don't have the easy check to see how your student is doing. Knowing that parents want to know what is happening in the classroom, here are my suggestions for how to check on your child's progress.

Keeping Your Child Accountable

Daily Independent Reading

  • Ensure your child reads 15-30 minutes a day by 1) Sitting down and reading a book with them! 2) Setting a timer and watching them
  • Ask your child to tell you what book they are reading each week. Ask them questions about the book. Ask how many pages a week they are reading and if they are meeting their goals. Encourage them to meet their reading goals and offer your help.

Articles of the Week

  • Ensure your child reads the article of the week each week by 1) Reading it with them 2) Having a discussion about the topic 3) Have them show you the completed article
  • Ask your child questions about the article of the week: What article are you reading this week? Tell me a summary of the topic. What is your opinion on the article this week? What did you learn from your article this week? Why was the article either interesting or uninteresting to you this week?

Writing

  • Ensure your child turns in their writing assignments by asking them to show you that it is done
  • Check due dates either through Google Classroom emails or on the Calendar page (link at top of website)
  • Ask them questions about their writing: What type of writing are you working on this week? What writing can you show me that you are proud of? Will you read me something you wrote this week? When is your next writing assignment due?

Speaking

  • Ensure your child prepares for any discussions or presentations by asking them to show you their preparation or practice in front of you
  • Check due dates through Google Classroom or the calendar linked above
  • Help your student practice speaking with PVLegs (Poise, Volume, Life, Eye Contact, Gestures, and Speed)
  • Ask them questions about their speaking opportunities: Do you get nervous to give presentations? What are your strengths in speaking? What areas are you working on in speaking? When you have a group discussion, do you find it easy to participate? How well do you listen to others in your group?
  • Ask your student to show you videos of the speeches they give (yes, students are required to record their videos and watch them)

Powerschool

  • Check Powerschool for scores on the standards
  • Do NOT expect a letter grade until quarter marks
  • If you see scores of 1-2, ask your child what they are going to do to improve their skills, encourage them to speak with me about opportunities to redo or retake assessments

Lastly - Make sure I have an updated email on file because I will send periodic updates of what is happening in class and follow my blog posts for weekly reviews of what we are learning.