Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Graded



Summer school at the alternative education center ended last week. It was only 18 days. The school year officially starts mid-August. 

(Well, if it starts. We're still not sure if we're doing in-person or distance. Apparently the district is discussing, but there is no official word. Yet.) 

And, with the end of the summer session came the grades. Which is something I've never had the opportunity to do. Yay? 

There is a program that kind of does school for the kiddos. I'm familiar with it as they use it frequently at the continuation high school. Each assignment is graded in the usual percentage manner. Using those programs, one can just look at the grade and transpose it as the grade for the class. 

But, I was not in charge of either of those classes. The kiddos were enrolled in two, and the other two (permanent) teachers oversaw them. My class was called "study skills". 

Now, I did answer questions about how to log into the program. I spent one day helping the kiddos complete an assignment about creating a budget (sort of). But I didn't have specific work for them to do. I hadn't assigned anything worth points. They had nothing to turn in. 

How was I supposed to give them grades? 

In the end, I came up with a participation point system. 

I figured that would be as fair as anything else. If they showed up and participated (which they kind of had to do as I asked each student specific questions), they got the day's points. If they didn't... 

But then there was the Brandon clause. Brandon showed up about half the time. And he participated... about half the time. There were two sessions where he logged in, but when I asked him a question, he stubbornly left his feed on mute. And he had his camera off. So, for all I knew, he had logged in and walked away. 

Or fell asleep. 

So, full points? Nope. But giving him a zero when he went to the trouble to "show up"? That's not fair, either. 

I figured half points would work there. 

Once I added everything up, I had grades that really did make sense. Brandon got a D. Missing one class dropped the grades from an A to a B. (If we had had more sessions, missing one class wouldn't have made as big an impact.) And most of the students, who hadn't bothered to show up at all, got incompletes. 

I was quite pleased with my solution. Once the school year starts in earnest, they'll be doing actual work with actual points, so the grading won't be as weird. But summer school sessions are a bit weird.

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like you worked things out pretty well. Good luck for the upcoming school year!

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  2. The image of the empty classroom certainly sums up this year and maybe even the next. I'm wondering how subs are going to manage in all of this distance learning.

    Good system you devised. And don't you just ache for those Brandons in the world. Hope they wake up one day and find what it is that love to do.

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  3. Sounds like a good fix. I hate doing classes on the computer like that (I have to take some with the state) because I hate being called on. HAHA ..One time the lady conducting the class called on me as Pam. I answered. The next time she called Pamela and it took her saying it twice before I realized she meant me.

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    1. It's hard to know what to call students when their official name is on the screen. Do they shorten it? I'm sure there's a way to fix that in the settings or something, but who bothers?

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  4. I like that grading system. If you show up and participate, you're gonna get a good grade. I think it works well.

    Yeah, they delayed the start of school for my school district, and they won't know if they're doing online or alternate day until the 25th.

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    1. I got word after writing the post (and I didn't update). We're going virtual. I know nothing else (there's talk that we'll be in the classroom, just not the students) as of now. And they pushed back the start date a week (for planning, I'd assume).

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  5. Glad you were able to devise a system that works. I had to teach a study skills summer session once, and I just hated it from beginning to end. I was so glad when September came.

    Whatever your school district decides, I hope you're able to take care and stay safe!

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  6. As long as it worked.
    I guess they need to make a decision on schools soon if it starts in a couple weeks.

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  7. So if he showed up half the time and participated half of that time... 25%? So you were pretty generous with the 50%.

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  8. It made sense how you graded them. Did you hear any complaints from the students about it?

    Betty

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  9. I think that's a fair way to grade them.

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  10. Participation points and half-points, both great solutions, Liz.

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  11. Summer class is weird and 2020 is weird, we're all just making it up as we go. Hopefully you'll have something a little more concrete soon.

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    1. Yeah, likely. And that'll be blog fodder, so win-win.

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  12. Seems weird they had to be graded on study skills. No curriculum or class material or assessment... but your solution was very effective in the circumstances.

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  13. A participation point system makes a lot of sense. Smart thinking!

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  14. This reminds me of my friend who teaches at a private school here, in the city. She teaches to student who are on line all over the world from China, mexico etc.. Not only does she odd hours because of the time difference but she has no idea if they really are there so she points them for showing up and participating plus doing their work. It's a whole new way of teaching

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