advice?

For those of you out there who don’t have the ability to change previous quarter/semester grades, how do you handle grades if a student masters a topic after the grades have been submitted? i.e. I have 4 topics I introduce and assess in Q1. Student A only has a 2.0 total score for those topics. But, in Q2 has a Whoa! moment and masters two of the previous quarters topics. I can’t change last quarter’s grade.

I guess it doesn’t matter if I’m not averaging topic scores but using a conjunctive scoring system like Jason uses. Does the student(s) just have one or two more topic scores the next quarter that affect their grade?

Any help?

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10 Responses to advice?

  1. Kelly says:

    At my school, we have quarter, then semester, then year grades. Colleges only see the semester and year grades. So for us it will be simple… Q1 is a snapshot halfway through the semester. The semester grade will reflect their mastery for the entire semester, not an average of the two quarters. In fact, Q2 and the 1st semester grade should represent the same thing (except that they get one more shot to demonstrate mastery on the exam in between those two grades). We’re thinking of grades as always being cumulative, not representing only from November to January, for instance.

    • mbennage says:

      Thanks Kelly. I didn’t think to check what colleges get to see and I’m not sure what our policy is…I’ll be sure to find out.

      • Kelly says:

        The quarter grade is just a snapshot. Once a standard is introduced, it is in play all year long. Their standing on it could always go up or down. Grades are always cumulative over the entire year so far.

  2. Do you input year-end grades by hand? Or, if they are automatically calculated, can you easily override them? Like Kelly said, all I care about are year-end grades because that’s the only grade on the transcript at our school. And science I am lucky enough to be able to enter each quarter and year-end grade as I see fit, I am thinking of making each quarter grade be a running cumulative total, rather than chunks. If I was using averaging, I wouldn’t do this because 4th quarter laziness won’t harm a cumulative grade very much. But when using conjunctive scoring, a small slip can send a grade down, so kids have to stay on the ball, even in 4th quarter. Plus, when using cumulative grades, any improvements made can easily show up in the next quarter without having to change previous grade.

    • mbennage says:

      They are calculated automatically by averaging (weighted) the 4 quarter grades and the mid and final exams.

      So, as I see it, there are basically 2 options.

      1) Unofficially end the first quarter after 6 weeks and start the 2nd quarter tracking during the 7th week. This gives them 2 weeks to remediate any low scores during the official 2 weeks remaining of the 1st quarter. This would give me a full 8 weeks for Q2, Q3, and Q4 by following this pattern. Students have the last 2 weeks of each official quarter to bring low topic scores up. Cons: I have a short 1st quarter and 2 weeks of downtime or ungraded material at the end of the year.

      2) Record scores and assign grades in conjunction with official quarter time line. A student who masters a topic in a subsequent quarter gets their current quarter grade raised to reflect an average that they would have if I were able to go back and change their grade. Cons: if the student earns the highest score possible in each subsequent quarter (not probable, but possible), I have no room to adjust their grade.

      • Kelly says:

        Oh, we are definitely ending each marking period early. We will continue moving forward, but no standards introduced after that early deadline will count toward that marking period, and they are still allowed to reassess on the standards that do count up to the last day of the quarter. That was the only fair thing we could think to do to get that arbitrary snapshot of their mastery.

      • mbennage says:

        Kelly,
        Okay. So that was one of my 2 options and the one I was probably going to have to revert to based on my principal’s suggestions.
        But, do you not then do anything with those standards after the quarter ends? Once they are done they are done?

  3. And there’s no way to override the year-end scores? Have you spoken to your principal about SBG?

    • mbennage says:

      Yes, we spoke.

      At first he was hesitant but is now letting me go full bore in all classes.

      But, I still have to follow the in-place guidelines for quarterly/yearly grading. I don’t believe I can override the year’s grade since it is an average.

      We’ll see. I’ll have to discuss it with him one more time before I have to just improvise…

  4. It doesn’t really make sense that your principal likes SBG but then makes you average the quarters together. Good luck! Keep us posted.

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