Grading: A Zero-Autonomy Quick Fix

After reviewing my NTPRS 2018 presentation with someone earlier today, I stumbled upon a way to demystify the concept while also providing an option for immediate implementation without ANY changes to those pesky school-mandated, unchangeable grading categories (if you’re in that unlucky situation). In each grading category:

  1. Create assignments that do NOT count towards the final grade (usually a check box)
  2. Create ONLY ONE assignment that DOES count towards the final grade
  3. Use a—ANY—holistic rubric to arrive at that grading category grade

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2-for-1 Etymology & Meeting Expectations

This year, I’ve implemented a new strategy while establishing meaning of words (i.e. write word, underline, then write English equivalent underneath in different color). When I give the English equivalent, I immediately ask the class to think of words we get from the Latin (i.e. derivatives).

It’s simple, allows processing time, and increases the likelihood of students making form-meaning connections whenever they come across the word again.

Not only that, but this strategy also has the benefit of giving most people what they want to see from offering Latin in schools, that is, a direct influence on academic language, SAT prep, etc., without being too obtrusive when it comes to providing compelling input.

Meeting Expectations
CI can be a hard sell, partly due to how counter-intuitive it seems, partly due to the widespread intellectual appeal of grammar rules and literature decoding/analysis, and partly due to obstinant teachers unwilling to accept that they could get better results doing a fraction of the prep they’re accustomed to doing.

Besides teachers, some kids damaged by school as an institution think they aren’t learning, and then admin/parents who take their word for it think teachers aren’t doing their jobs. In the face of all this, the 2-for-1 etymology strategy can be used as concrete evidence of meeting certain expectations.

NTPRS 2017: 10 Workshops On Assessment & Grading!

Assessment & Grading is, by far, the most frequent topic I’m asked about, and this year’s National TPRS Conference features 10 of those workshops on Thursday and Friday! Based on the descriptions, there’s a mix of proficiency people, skill people, tech-tool people, speaking people, rubric people, and more! I’ll be presenting one of those workshops, and have noticed that my thinking is a little different. I do recommend getting to as many of the 10 as you can, so in case you miss out on mine, here’s a brief look at what I’m about…

RLMTL
I have a very simple approach to assessment because the answer is always RLMTL (i.e. Reading and Listening to More Target Language). That is, there is NO assessment I could give that WOULD NOT result in me providing more input. Therefore, my assessments are input-based, and very brief. In fact, what many consider assessments—for me—are actually just simple quizzes used to report scores (see below).

I prefer to assess students authentically.

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2016-17 DEA

**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!

Quarter 1
DEA = 90%
Proficiency = 10%

Quarter 2
DEA = 75%
Proficiency = 25%

Quarter 3
DEA = 50%
Proficiency = 50%

Quarter 4
DEA = 10%
Proficiency = 90%

 

Grading & Reporting Schemes

Over the years, I’ve heard from many teachers in different situations looking to move towards Proficiency-Based Grading (PBG), or possibly beyond. Elsewhere on this blog, I’ve written very long explanations about grading practices. Here are various grading scheme options presented in a straight-forward manner. If you’re in a situation that seems very different from those listed below, comment and we’ll think of something!

Latest Expectations-Based Grading Scheme

Expectations-Based Grading (EBG) **NEW, added 3.4.18**
100% – Input Expectations Rubric, includes Proficiency Levels
0% – Quick Quizzes, or anything else you want to report a score for
Use this scheme if you have complete control, want maximum freedom, and want to focus on students receiving input.

Zero-Autonomy Quick Fix **NEW, added 8.2.18**
Percentages vary based on wacky school requirements, and don’t matter read about it, here
In each grading category:
1) Create assignments that do NOT count towards the final grade (usually a check box)
2) Create ONLY ONE assignment that DOES count towards the final grade
3) Use a—ANY—holistic rubric to arrive at that grading category grade
Use this scheme if you have absolutely no control, and people are telling you what kinds f things to assign, and how much value to give them.

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