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District 41 Grading Practices
Teachers in District 41 strive to make sure grades are
- Supportive of Learning
Students are graded on two levels:they receive academic grades per standard and work habit grades for each trimester.
There are different types of assessments and each serves a different purpose.
Assessments FOR Learning (FORmative Assessments inFORms teachers instruction)
- Assessments designed to provide direction for improvement and/or adjustment to a program for individual students or for a whole class.
- Could include informal quizzes, initial drafts/attempts, homework, exit slips, anecdotal records, and questions during instruction.
- They are meant to be risk-free.
- They are not calculated into the final academic grades.
Assessments OF Learning (Summative Assessments):
- Assessments designed to provide information about a student’s achievement at the end of a period of instruction.
- Could include tests, projects, performances, etc.
- These provide scores, which are calculated into the final academic grades.
- It is important that students are graded on the assessment OF learning pieces only, as they reflect what is ultimately learned by the end of the unit.
- Students should not be penalized for practice during the unit.
Interim Assessments (An assessment OF learning)
- Assessments administered at mid-points in a unit or module to determine if a student has learned what has been taught so far.
- Could include formal quizzes, mini-tests, etc.
- Provides scores that are calculated into the final academic grades.
Homework: An assessment FOR learning. The purpose of homework includes:
- Extension: Asks students to apply skills they already have in new situations.
- Integration: Requires students to apply many different skills to a large task, such as a project.
- Practice: Reinforces learning and helps students master specific skills.
- Preparation: Introduces material presented in future lessons; aim is to help students learn new material when it is covered in class.
As a district, we do NOT include homework as an academic grade. Homework is a valuable tool and provides important information to the child as to how to improve and to the teacher to guide future instruction. However, the credit given will be taken into account when filling in the child’s work habits grades at the end of each grading period.
As a district, we separate work habits (effort) from achievement.Work habits are difficult to quantify and measure. It’s not often very apparent or visible. There is also not always a direct relationship between work habits and achievement. A student can try very hard and learn little, try a little and learn a lot, etc. Therefore, we need to recognize both as separate parts of the learning process. Separating work habits from achievement gives a truer reflection of a student’s learning. We want the academic grade to accurately represent what children know and understand according to the standards of each of our content areas, and separating work habits from achievement will help us accomplish this.
As a district, we do not award extra credit. Extra credit is not issued in District 41, because it inflates the achievement grade beyond the true total and does not provide a true picture of what was learned and mastered by the student. Students cannot fall back on extra credit for missed work, incomplete work, lack of effort throughout the grading period, etc. They will be expected to work their hardest throughout each grading period and will be given feedback on how to improve if necessary.