Monday, February 2, 2015


This week's question of the week is about grades. A user asked "How do you weight your grades? Do you assign a certain percentage of the grade towards homework, classwork, tests, etc?"
Here are how some Foreign Language teacher's answered:

I weight my grades according to skill area; reading, listening, speaking, writing, and culture. Each area accounts for about 20% of the overall grade. All of the points my students earn come from assessments. I assign homework and classwork, but do not give points for doing it. I want to make sure that their grades truly reflect their mastery of the standards.

Currently, to align with other teacher of same language in school, grades are weighted as follows: 5% final/midterm assessment, 35% homework/formative assessment, 60% unit exams/summative assessments. However, I would like to change that to reflect modes of communication and project work so that students can show their mastery of skills and progress in proficiency.

I use a total point system for grades. I try to limit my trimester point total to as close to 100 points. This usually includes one or two formal assessments, written or oral, (20 points), 1 pronunciation assessment (20 points), and various other mini-assessments. When I rarely assign homework, it is worth 1 point. Most everything else I grade is graded on a 5 point scale. This also me to give 5 for A+, 4.5 for a A, 4 for a B, 3.5 for a C, etc. There is no spilitting hairs between 85% or 83%. The assessments are graded on a rubric of 4 categories at 5 points each. You can check out our sample rubrics here

I count everything once and performance assessments twice. Additionally, my school follows semesters with three grading terms. Each term is weighted at 30% and the final exam counts 10% of the overall grade.

I use Power Grading, a form of standards-based grading. So instead of using the products students create as determiners for grades, I record the level of the student in various skills: 30% writing, 30% speaking, 15% listening comprehension, 15% reading comprehension, and 10% cultural knowledge. Writing and speaking include student examples of both presentational and interpersonal communication.

1 comment:

  1. I teach at the elementary school (K-4) so grading is a little different. However, I do weight interpersonal communication higher than other skills. At my level, this looks like greetings, leave takings, manners, engaging in simple conversations around feelings, and interacting with me and classmates on a basic communicative level. As my students progress through the grades, they have more and more options for greetings, leave takings, and emotions, as well as adding in modifiers such as muy, mucho, and un poquito. Gaging how varied and often they use this new vocabulary forms the base of where they fall on the 4 point scale for interpersonal skills. ~Julie, Mundo de Pepita


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