I’ve been writing about Assessment & Grading for a while. That writing has earned me slots presenting at the local, regional, and national level, which means this is a hot topic not to be overlooked. I’m not surprised. Grading systems influence assessment, which drive content, and even the slightest adjustments can have profound effects on one’s teaching. For example, the simple decision to grade homework comes with considerable baggage…
**See this post for all other grading schemes*
In its current form, there are only 3 agreements as part of the Daily Engagement Agreements (DEA), which are to Look, Listen, and Ask. Older versions of DEA had many more, but the 0% Portfolio grading category I now include Powerschool takes care of assignments previously covered under “Be Prepared,” and anything else I need to keep track of. There’s no need for “No English” because “Listen” covers that. There’s no need for posture agreements because “Look” covers that. Last week a student was lying down between two chairs yet could read the board and was responding with the entire class. This kid understood Latin and was participating…he was just tired. An older system would have made that an issue when there wasn’t an issue. For me, DEA is super streamlined at this point, which means super clear for DAPS (department heads, admin, parents, students).
In terms of weighting, I ended up using last year’s sliding scale idea. Previously, I’ve written how my DEA weight had been anywhere from 0% to 50% of the grade. Colleagues at my new school liked the new sliding scale, but were a little uncomfortable with the 100/0 and 0/100 percentages at the start and end of the year. No problem. After a simple edit, the scale does slide, but at a 90/10, and 10/90 split to include at least a little bit of both DEA and Proficiency. I like this one because DEA now holds most of the weight for half the year, and is equal to Proficiency in 3rd quarter. After all, if students are Looking, Listening, and Asking when they don’t understand, they’ll acquire enough language to “understand most of what they hear and read,” which is honestly the most realistic expectation we could have, and is reflected in that 90% Proficiency weight in June.
N.B. if, somehow, students don’t Look, Listen, or Ask and STILL understand, just don’t take off DEA points!
DEA = 90%
Proficiency = 10%
DEA = 75%
Proficiency = 25%
DEA = 50%
Proficiency = 50%
DEA = 10%
Proficiency = 90%
In the recent sliding scale scheme, Proficiency is given 0% weight at the start of the year. This doesn’t mean that students see “0” in the gradebook. What this means is that their 95, for example (which they see in the gradebook), holds 0% weight because in the sliding scale scheme we’ve placed all 100% weight on DEA for first quarter in order to set expectations and establish routines. By the fourth quarter, 100% of the weight is on Proficiency, and whenever possible, we manually change the entire course grade to that final Proficiency number/letter so nothing else averages throughout the year.
✔ Rules (DEA & CWB)
✔ Routines (Routines, Student Jobs, Interjections & Rejoinders)
✔ Brain Breaks