Grades?

3/01/2010
I've never thought much about grading. When I check my children's work, I note the mistakes, have them correct them and give them a star sticker or a check mark to note that I checked it. I have never seen grades as necessary because I have always known how they are doing. But, as Jordan approaches high school, I have been thinking more about grades . . . specifically transcripts. It is not required in the state of Wyoming to maintain a transcript or to even fulfill the requirements for a high school diploma. They do not recognize a home school student as eligible for a diploma. But, that doesn't mean that I can't give him one and I do plan to. So I have been thinking about what the state credit requirements are and how we can apply these in our homeschool for highschool. And if I am going to make a transcript for him, it makes sense that I would need to put some sort of grade on it for each subject. So far, I have worked out a plan for grading math and science: Math: Recently, Jordan finished his first Life of Fred Math book. After each set of chapters, he has to pass a bridge test to make it to the next set of chapters. He gets five tries to pass the bridge. If he gets 9 out of 10 he may pass. He can take as many bridge tests as he wants (up to 5) and I take his two best scores. At the end of the book he takes a final bridge. So I added up all the points (10 for each bridge and 15 for the final bridge) and gave him a grade. (I did not grade the "Your Turn to Play" questions). I never imagined the impact that a grade would have on him! It made him feel good to know that he did so well (he did not like math before he met Fred). Science: Jordan is using Apologia General Science. Here is how I decided to grade his notebook. He has five ways to earn a grade:
  • On Your Own questions are worth 1/2 point each.
  • Study Guide question are worth one point each.
  • Lab sheets: I have a grading rubric for the lab sheets which is very helpful. I leave the rubric in his notebook so that he can see what is expected from him to get full points.
  • Module Tests: questions are worth one point for short answer and 2 points for long answer. Extra credit is usually given on each test and he has learned the value of taking advantage of extra credit. (I was a science lab assistant for two years in high school and graded many tests so that experience has proved valuable to me.)
  • Quarter Tests
Right now, math and science are the only subjects I have thought about grading so far. I am sure this will change as I continue planning for home school through high school.

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