Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thinking During The Commute

I wonder what percentage of grades that we give are based upon knowledge gained and what percent is based on putting forth the effort to gain that knowledge? I wonder what sort of percentage is ideal?

In case you worry that I get too introspective too early in the morning, I also wondered about the ramifications of hailing from a state who spawned back to back Miss Americas. Does this increase the pressure on me to finally shape my eyebrows and iron my clothes?

And now for the answers,

I think that although effort does matter and should be recognized, it's a delicate balance we have to find to seperate disciplinary issues and academic issues. We have to teach good habits without basing a student's entire grade on those habits.

And the second question? Nope. Not today anyway.


The Science Goddess said...

I've been doing a lot of reading about this idea recently---as I plan to use grading practices as part of my doctoral study.

Measurement experts recommend that effort not be considered as part of a grade...or, if it can't be avoided, that it be reported separately from achievement. The problem is simply that teachers work with human beings: we know our kids and we can't turn into completely objective robots when it's time to grade.

It's been interesting to ponder and investigate.

Lisa in FL said...

My grade level team shrunk homework and classwork completion grades to 5% of total grades, and instituted a separate "work habits" grade that covers behavior and work completion.

Failing work habits keeps them off honor roll even if they have As and Bs academically-- it's a way of nailing the kids that ace tests but have rotten study habits. (I teach 4th grade, and those kids can't coast forever, so we're trying to get them used to doing their work NOW.)

Alternately, kids who do poorly on tests and other assignments but always have their HW done don't have their grades inflated anymore, since the percentage HW counts for is so small now in the academic subjects.

It's really worked well-- I think now their grades really reflect their knowledge/skills much more. And our bright underachievers are getting a necessary kick in the pants.