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Help with grading for a transcript due tomorrow...


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Hi all!  My boys are in 8th grade and am in the process of creating a middle school transcript to apply to one of our public high schools.  I am still hoping to continue homeschooling, but I want to apply to keep that door open.  I have kept grades on test, etc. over the past couple of years, but these have just been to keep me and the boys on track (one of them likes to see his grades and the other one needs to see his grades for other reasons - LOL).

Both boys are currently doing VideoText Algebra.  I have corrected their daily work, but have not assigned grades to that.  They do the odd problems.  We check it, go over any incorrect problems, and they do the even problems.  I know in public schools here, they have to do their daily work, the teacher will make sure there is writing on the page, and they get credit.  The work is not checked by the teacher.  I'm not sure what % of their grade this is (maybe 20%).  Anyway, I can go back and do that later if needed.  I have kept numerical and letter grades on their quizzes and tests.  Since the program doesn't assign point values to quiz/test problems, I have done that myself where I think they should get partial credit if they did a bigger problem correctly except for silly mistake.

So...the program has Quiz A and Quiz B, as well as, a final Unit Test A & B.  I only assign the A Quiz or Test unless the child has less than a B (this never happens to one of my boys, but he doesn't want a B).  In that case, we go over the answers, they can re-watch the videos, and retake the B Quiz or Test.  For grading purposes, when they take both Quiz A and Quiz B, should I average the scores or should I drop the low score and go with the higher score?  Same thing on the Unit tests?  Schools in our area are known for allowing students to retake tests (either all or just certain sections) to bring up their grades.  I'm not 100% certain, but I think they just go with the higher score.  Is there a best practice for this, especially going forward if I continue to homeschool?

Also, how would you weight the quizzes vs. the unit test?

Here is an example, for Unit 1, one of my boys would have a 99% on his quizzes if I dropped the lower score.  He would have a 96% if I averaged them.  He got a 91% on both the A & B Unit test.  I know it doesn't matter much in this case, but it may down the road once I come up with the final grade.  And...I know it will matter with his brother :P !!!!  Obviously, this would be an A if just this unit went on his transcript, but we are just getting started with official grades.

So, for Unit II, he got a 97% on quizzes by dropping the lower score and a 95% by averaging.  For his Unit II test, he would have a 96% if I dropped the lower score or a 91% if I averaged.  His cumulative review tests (Units I and 11) was a 90%.  He only took that once.  Again, this may not be a big deal by unit, but it could affect his grade if he has trouble with a unit down the road.

I hope I am making sense.  Thanks so much!!!

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I'd consider the first test or quiz a practice run.  Lots of teachers give practice tests that are very similar to the real test.  The idea is a practice test will help the student to be able to pinpoint where they need to study.  As for a homework grade, I graded on completion and gave it a weight of 25%, as that is what our local schools seemed to be doing.  For a kid who gets mostly As on tests, doing this doesn't improve the average very much, but it makes the kid feel as though the homework counts for something (for example, if the kid has a 90 average on the tests, the homework piece will make the grade go up to a 92.5).

In the end, the important thing is that you give a grade that accurately reflects how they did in the class.  If whatever grading scheme you decide on comes up with a grade that surprises you, then there is something wrong with the scheme.

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10 minutes ago, EKS said:

I'd consider the first test or quiz a practice run.  Lots of teachers give practice tests that are very similar to the real test.  The idea is a practice test will help the student to be able to pinpoint where they need to study.  As for a homework grade, I graded on completion and gave it a weight of 25%, as that is what our local schools seemed to be doing.  For a kid who gets mostly As on tests, doing this doesn't improve the average very much, but it makes the kid feel as though the homework counts for something (for example, if the kid has a 90 average on the tests, the homework piece will make the grade go up to a 92.5).

In the end, the important thing is that you give a grade that accurately reflects how they did in the class.  If whatever grading scheme you decide on comes up with a grade that surprises you, then there is something wrong with the scheme.

Would you be willing to share how you would weight a quiz vs. the entire Unit test?  And...at the end of each Unit (after Unit I), there is a cumulative test.  How would that figure into the overall grade?  If we continue homeschooling, I will be using VideoText Geometry and will keep the same grading system.  Thank you!!!!

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I would probably do something like this:

  • 25% homework completion
  • 50% chapter tests
  • 15% quizzes
  • 10% unit tests

Or, another way you can do it is to just say:

  • 25% homework
  • 75% graded work

And then differentiate between chapter tests, quizzes, and unit tests by allotting different numbers of points to each.  So for example, you could make each chapter test worth 100 points, each quiz worth 20 points, and each unit test worth 200 points.

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2 hours ago, mlktwins said:

 

Here is an example, for Unit 1, one of my boys would have a 99% on his quizzes if I dropped the lower score.  He would have a 96% if I averaged them.  He got a 91% on both the A & B Unit test.  I know it doesn't matter much in this case, but it may down the road once I come up with the final grade.  And...I know it will matter with his brother :P !!!!  Obviously, this would be an A if just this unit went on his transcript, but we are just getting started with official grades.

So, for Unit II, he got a 97% on quizzes by dropping the lower score and a 95% by averaging.  For his Unit II test, he would have a 96% if I dropped the lower score or a 91% if I averaged.  His cumulative review tests (Units I and 11) was a 90%.  He only took that once.  Again, this may not be a big deal by unit, but it could affect his grade if he has trouble with a unit down the road.

 I'm not a HS er, so have no comments as what to do if you continue with that. But, I do have an 8th grader leaving middle school, and heading to h.s. for 9th on.  I assume your sons are headed to h.s. as well.  If so, you might be over thinking this.  The middle school transcript will be used at the h.s for placement/tracking.  Not a thing on the middle school transcript will appear on the h.s transcript for college.  Your sons seem to have  weak to high "A" averages. Either way its an "A", so I don't see the grade as a critical issue in placement.   BTW, at our school, grades and standardized tests scores are used for determining placement/tracking.  good luck 

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59 minutes ago, gstharr said:

 I'm not a HS er, so have no comments as what to do if you continue with that. But, I do have an 8th grader leaving middle school, and heading to h.s. for 9th on.  I assume your sons are headed to h.s. as well.  If so, you might be over thinking this.  The middle school transcript will be used at the h.s for placement/tracking.  Not a thing on the middle school transcript will appear on the h.s transcript for college.  Your sons seem to have  weak to high "A" averages. Either way its an "A", so I don't see the grade as a critical issue in placement.   BTW, at our school, grades and standardized tests scores are used for determining placement/tracking.  good luck 

Thank you!  I am not sure if we are homeschooling or going to PS, but the application to the specialty programs is due tomorrow.  Since the administration doesn't know me, they have asked for transcripts, test scores, and whatever else might help them make a determination for admitting the boys to their program.  Unfortunately, my plan to meet with the various schools and guidance counselors in the fall was trumped by my elderly father's need for help with medical issues and moving him to a safer place.  Flying by the seat of my pants now -- LOL.  

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I think you're overthinking this. If a kid was getting grades all over the place on quizzes, then it might be important to look at the actual grades and come up with a formula for how you were going to award a grade for this. You don't want to put something down on a transcript that's totally unjustified. But as it is, you're talking about students who do all their work and make between high to low A's on their quizzes. It's an A by any measure. School teachers need these formulas for how much weight we'll give homework, quizzes, class participation and what have you. We just don't have the same need because we know they did every homework and "participated" and so forth.

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12 hours ago, Farrar said:

I think you're overthinking this. If a kid was getting grades all over the place on quizzes, then it might be important to look at the actual grades and come up with a formula for how you were going to award a grade for this. You don't want to put something down on a transcript that's totally unjustified. But as it is, you're talking about students who do all their work and make between high to low A's on their quizzes. It's an A by any measure. School teachers need these formulas for how much weight we'll give homework, quizzes, class participation and what have you. We just don't have the same need because we know they did every homework and "participated" and so forth.

Yeah, so I have a kid that thinks school is boring and whatever - LoL.  The grades I posted were for one twin - the one that does school without issue everyday and naturally gets good grades (like my DH).  The other really hasn't cared about grades before and/or maybe has to work at them a little harder than his twin (like me).  So...me doing this and looking at all the grades together, which I haven't done before really because we didn't need to keep grades, has been eye opening to him.  He realizes that a few poor grades on some quizzes or tests can bring a grade down very easily and that it is not always easy to bring it back up.  This was for some work in 7th grade in particular.  This has been very positive for him to see because he wants good grades and, after going to all the specialty program information sessions and the homeschooling high school and transcripts seminar last week, he realizes that it really does matter.  He is the one I am more worried about, but I think he will do fine.  

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