Sunday, April 1, 2007

Chapter 13

This chapter talks about 4 different kinds of grade books that are out there and they are as follows: grouping by weight, grouping by date, grouping by topic, and grouping by objective. It gives all kinds of information on each one of these types of grade books and gives insight as to how to set a grade book up. It offers the do's and the do not's.

Everyone in my group liked these grade books for different reasons and they are lengthy. I liked the idea of having a grade book where everything is either done by weight or by date. I don't think that the other ways would work that well. My group members thought otherwise and went against me in a constructive way. They brought out other good points about the other two types of grade books, but I really think that I would rather do it by weight or by date. They seem to be easier and make more sense to me in setting one up and going with it. I still will keep an open mind about it, but I doubt that I will ever use it though. I think that if you pick something and stick to it then it will work out for you in the end. My teammates like the idea of grouping by objectives. They seem to think that it is the easier way of the four. I don't think so. When it was all said and done we all decided to value each others opinion and respect it even if it wasn't ours. We love this chapter because it focuses on something that most people to find being small and simple, but it really isn't. We learned that it can be difficult to do and we are thankful for all of the information on each one. We truly love this chapter!

chapter 12

For the most part this chapter is about grading scales and how they can be used. It gives the two biggest grading scales that teachers and schools use today. They are the 100 point scale and the 4 point scale. It gives an overview of each of these to types and how each one has its ups and downs.

I personally think that all schools should use the 100 point scale when grading students papers. My fellow group mates also agree with me, but we agree for different reasons. They find the 100 point scale to be better only in the sense that it is what most schools are using. I find it to be better in the sense that a higher number to me makes me feel better. I even asked other students if they would rather have a 100 point scale or a 4 point scale. They all said that they would rather have a 100 point scale based on the fact that that is how averages are figured. They also said that they likes it because it shows a bigger number and they would rather see that. They even said that they liked it because they are already accustomed to it. Overall, we like the 100 point scale better!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Chapter 10

Chapter ten discussed the different methods that should be taken into consideration when allowing students to redo their original work. Most successful differentiated classrooms often let their students try to work for a better grade. Teachers should appropriately decide whether the student can be allowed to redo their work, or by what standards the redone work should be allowed. Some students take advantage of the system, and therefore do not deserve the opportunity to redo it. Other students may need a lot of guidance, or modifications done to the work so that it might not be as much as a hassle. It all depends on the student, and the material they are making up. There should even be exceptions when the student, such as a senior, has so much on their plate that they might need some extra time. High school students are not as organized or as disciplined, and often will struggle to redo work in just a day or two, its good to give them about a week and keep on top of them by helping them create a successful study plan for the week. Teachers should not allow redo’s during the last week of the semester, and students should attach their original work to the made up material. Both of these will make it a little easier on the teacher as they are always the busiest during the final week, and often forget how the student originally did on the work.

We all agreed with the chapter for the most part, especially the idea that teachers need to think about the situation to determine whether or not the student should be allowed to redo there work or what needs to the be done so they will understand it better. A couple of us did not agree with giving a whole week to redo the work. Students will then be more focused on the work they have to redo instead of the new content, which might cause them to further get behind, its better for them to get it done as soon as possible. Other then that, we all agreed that students should have another opportunity to understand the material.

By: Tyler

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chapter Nine

This chapter listed ten approaches to avoid when differentiating assessment and grading. The ten approaches were: avoid incorperating nonacademic factors into the final grade, avoid penalizing students' multiple attempts at mastery, avoid grading practice, avoid withholding assistance with the learning when it's needed, avoid assessing students in ways that do not accurately indicate their mastery, avoid allowing extra credit and bonus points, avoid group grades, avoid grading on a curve, avoid recording zeros for work not done, avoid using norm-referenced terms to describe criteron-referenced attributes.

I agree with many of these grading techniques. There are many unfair grading practices that go on in education today. Though many of my grades have been good as a student, I feel as though some of them could have been better if some of these suggestions would have been implemented. The one point that I am still unclear on even though we have mentioned it a couple times is the avoid recording zeros for work not done. I understand the principle and I believe in implementing it in most cases. The only problem I see is what about those kids that simply never do it. Do you give them an incomplete for the entire quarter? I am sure this is something we will cover more in class as it does come up a lot.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Chapter 7

Chapter seven was about grading and the importance, or lack there of, in the classroom. All educators have their own way of grading. It can be based on how well they think the students know the material, the type of student, the students rank in the class, or the effort given from the student; it all depends on the teacher’s attitude. This not only makes it difficult to get accurate results, but it can be difficult for students to get anything out of the material they are working on. Students will often just work hard enough or remember what they need to get the grade they want, and will often forget it, and they do not enjoy the material as much. Educators should focus more on assessing and evaluation, rather then assigning a bunch of work that will be graded. Students run a greater risk of failure, if an educator has an attitude of sticking to a grade book, and not bending to apply other strategies that maximize the students learning. Many schools in foreign countries and some in the U.S.A. have already started throwing the grading system out the window and focused more on assessing and evaluation. This way educators are constantly designing lessons based on their assessments from the previous class. Teachers know exactly where their students are at, and the students are more appreciative and are more involved in the work. When teachers do grade, they should focus more on raising the students up, rather then bringing them down. Make them understand that there grade can only go up, and not start at 100 and go down. Students tend to get down, and a negative attitude when they see the teacher is disappointed in them or there is a mark that is degrading.

We all liked the last idea that the teacher should never put a disappointed face next to a grade, or make it look like the students are going down rather then up. It may be small, but it could be the difference in a confidence booster or confidence killer. We like the idea of limited grading, but we feel that it should not be thrown out the window completely. Students need feedback, and assessments and discussion are the best way to go, but sometimes letting them see where they stand with the rest of the class is another helpful way of letting them understand. It is also a way of recognizing the students who have put in the extra hard work, and held on to the content.

By: Tyler

Sunday, March 25, 2007

chapter 8

After talking with my fellow group members, we have all come to a decision on where we stand concerning this chapter on grading. We all reported just about the exact same thing concerning grading and the things in a classroom that effect grading. The chapter went into detail about three things that effect grading and they are: the effort of a student, the behavior of students, and the attendance of the students. These three things effect learning and education in the classroom in a great way and they are all possible problems that teachers will have to face on a daily basis. this chapter mentions what can happen when these three things come into play and we as a group thought that the chapter does a good job in providing or implying possible solutions to these three things.

As part of society most of us take pride in getting good grades and we like the feeling that we get when we have done so. Some students don't always get good grades and that may not be just their fault. It could have something to do with the classroom atmosphere or maybe it could be things that the students could do themselves to help their grades. An example of something that a student could do ion their own to help themselves would be showing up to class on time and participating in the class. From past experience everyone in my group has reported that well behaved studious students do better and most people would say the same thing. When a student does their homework or shows up to class and is serious they tend to get a better grade. Students that don't exhibit these good qualities have a problem with learning and education. My group has come to an agreement that well behaved and good studious students produce good grades but, that doesn't mean that a not so much behaved students couldn't be successful either. We feel that students who do good want the constant reward and those who don't get a reward don't try as hard. We feel that is true most of the time but, not all of the time. Some students do good work and don't care about reward. The group agrees that reward leads to motivation which then leads to good grades. The factors of disruptive students can also effect learning for good students if it is not handled in a classroom and we think that as teachers we need to take charge. We want to push students to their fullest potential and we want them all to get good grades in the end. We all have seen several cases like this before but, we think that we can get every student to get on track and get good grades. We want to eliminate hose three factors from learning so that every student wants to and can succeed!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chapter 5

This chapter is about tiering. Tiering is defined as how teachers adject assignments and assessments according to students' readiness levels, interests, and learner profiles. Tiering is basically changing the complexity or challenge of tasks more and more everyday, so that students are learning and gaining as they go. Teachers are encouraged to let students work at their own pace and comfort levels so that the ctudent can complete the assignment the best way for them. The RAFT method allows students to choose what tast they want to do.

The examples given of how teachers tiered assignments were very much liked in our group. Educators are able to change the complexity or challenge or tasks everyday so that students are able to slowly or gradually reach their goal. Rich has always loved when teachers have allowed him to work at his own pace. Everyone really reacted well to the RAFTS method.