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Advice needed: grade reports for high school co-op class

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I'm teaching a high school class for the first time.  For those of you who have taught high school at a co-op, do you have a specific format for grade reports?  OR if your students have just taken a class at co-op -- what information do you typically receive?  I'm trying to come up with a format that would be helpful but not overly detailed.  I do have a course syllabus with a detailed course description and grade breakdown (% for each component).  However, I curved quite a bit in the course, and gave extra credit.  So I'm wondering how to report grades now.

 

Any help/suggestions would be much welcomed.

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For my DS's biology co-op class, I got a breakdown of attendance, lab report scores, and test scores.   Grades were determined by a combination of lab report scores and test scores, so at the bottom there was a final computed grade.   It was pretty simple and straightforward.

 

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My kids are in a homeschool group with hired teachers. Most of them use Thinkwave now for grades and set up a parent account for each child, as the previous program (can't remember what it's called) was no longer free. We could log on anytime and see her grades and then we were sent reports every 9 weeks, as well as semester ends. The courses broke down into assignments and projects. There aren't any tests given there.

 

Another teacher would just send an email even 9-12 weeks with a grade. I didn't like this as much.

 

What I do wish all teachers had done for dd's high school classes was to present a rubric for projects and papers. She had one in particular who was incredible vague on assignments and then have no feed back. Just a grade. We will not be taking another class with him. It's an impossible target to hit if you don't articulate things like that to the students.

 

So as a parent, that's my take.

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For my traditional biology course, where grades are a mix of homework, tests, quizzes, and projects, I've used an online program. We used to use Engrade before it went away, and now I use coursera (which is kind of a pain to get started with - it works well, but if the Fundafunda folks hadn't already been using it when I started teaching there I don't know if I would have chosen it). There are a couple of others that are used at our co-op. Since parents can have their own login and receive messages, I just enter grades as I receive the papers, and at the end of the semester send an announcement or email that tells where I would set the letter cut-offs. I also teach a Bio II class that has a different format - weekly short assignments that are mostly pass/fail. This year I'll be doing it with coursera because I'm offering an online format. In years past, though, I've just kept an excel sheet and periodically told students their grade. Since they tend to know whether they've been doing their assignments, there are no surprises with these grades. At the end of the semester, I just email the final grade to the student/parent.

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I use Gradekeeper

It was the best $20 investment as it saves me so much time and the results look 'professional'.  With just a click I can generate grade reports at any time.  Just the other day I was asked for a grade report from a few years ago-- so easy to just click and send!

 

Before that I made my own spreadsheets-- not efficient as my class size grew.

 

 

 

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I used Thinkwave last year. I really liked it. My hybrid school is buying Engrade so I will use that again. It is vital to communicate grades to the parents and students, although I am surprised how many parents or students never logged in to check grades.

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Question, was the coop set up in such a way that parents are expecting you to give a final grade which is THE grade for that subject?

 

I ask because I felt like I was painted into a bit of a corner in the last coop I taught with.  I taught the Intro to Literature course.  A couple students struggled with the course, and did not complete all of the assignments.  I gave all of the students the opportunity to revise essays to improve them.  I gave incredibly detailed feedback on the assignments that were turned in.  I gave out rubrics before the assignment and handed the filled out rubric back with the graded assignment.  In the end I would have needed to give a D or an F to two of the students.  I also had a couple students who were 8th graders taking the high school level class.  They worked really hard, but still needed some experience with literary analysis and essay writing.

 

However, I also felt like some of the parents had signed up for the coop just as socialization or as an elective.  I found out very late that one student was doing a full charter school course of study and the coop on the side.  I didn't necessarily feel right failing a student given the overall setup of the coop, regardless of how little work they had put into the course.  I was also one of the only coop classes doing a high school core subject.

 

What I ended up doing was giving out a grade report with a grade for each assignment listed as points possible for the assignment and the points earned.  I broke this up with small weekly assignments, the year long allusions project, and all of the essay submissions.  Each category had a total percentage and I calculated a class percentage.  I also gave a list of the works used and a sample course description.  However, I left assigning the final transcript grade to the parent.  Partly because I didn't think the social contract at this particular coop included my giving a failing grade to the students.  Partly because I recognized that a couple of the parents were going to put down whatever they wanted on their transcript anyway.  Partly because I thought the failing was in part because the parents had not stayed involved in making sure their student was doing the work.  

 

My grade report did have a couple suggestions as to how parents could use the assignment grades to produce a course grade.  I suspect the parents of the students who did well just took my percentages and used that.  

 

 

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