Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What Do the Letter Grades in English Mean to Us?

We have been deep in grade discussion today as throughout the day I have asked students to define the letter grades that I have to give this semester.  I wasn't surprised at the in-depth discussions this prompted, but more at the harshness with which the students defined certain grades.  Each class got a letter to define and then the other classes added their input.  Tomorrow, students will select their grade and then provide reasoning on a sheet for why they belong in that category.  I will then meet with each student to debate the grade with them and we will set goals for the future.
So how did the students define their letter grades?  Behavior seemed to play a large role which lead to many interesting conversations, since we grade behavior separate from part of understanding. These are their thoughts....
To get an "A" in English, a student is:
  • Participating on topic (large group, small group) even if not called upon
  • An active listener (engaged, awake, doing what they are supposed to be doing)
  • Consistently trying to go above and beyond and shows interest in topics
  • Getting consistent 3's or 4's (even with re-takes)
  • Turning work in on time and completed (95%)
  • Consistently puts in effort
  • (Works well with others/respects others/teacher/classroom/materials - nice attitude)
  • Reads at least 6 out of 7 days 20 minutes or more outside of English
  • Furthers the understanding in the classroom through written or spoken work
  • Showing a deep level of understanding of content covered
To get a "B" in English, a student is:
  • Getting scores that are consistently 3's with a few 2.5's mixed in
  • Reading 5 out of the 7 nights outside of English class
  • Interested most days, as well as engaged in class
  • Putting in best effort
  • Doing required work but not always going for 4
  • Most of the time working well with others/showing respect and helping the class move forward in learning
  • Participating
  • Completing almost all work, as well as handing it in on time
  • Showing a thorough understanding of content covered
To get a "C" in English, a student is:
  • Getting mostly 2's or 2.5's
  • Reading 3-4 days a week outside of English class
  • Mostly turning in work on time and work is mostly completed
  • Mostly engaged but only some participation (large/small group)
  • Homework is almost always complete and mostly turned in on time (2 or more lates)
  • Group effort may depend on students in group
  • Effort depends on topic/subject
  • Mostly prepared for class but does forget items at times (book, pencil, notebook etc) leading to inability to complete tasks
  • Not always spending time in a in productive manner
To get a "D" in English, a student is:
  • Getting mostly 2's
  • Reading 2-3 times a week outside of English class
  • Not always on topic and often distracts others
  • Not always prepared for class
  • Shows little engagement/time not spent productively
  • Has little participation even in small group
  • More than 3 missing assignments
  • Students shows little effort
  • Does few re-takes
  • Shows little understanding and does little to improve it
  • Choices made can harm the learning environment of others
To get a "F" in English, a student is:
  • Missing more than 5 assignments (summative and formative)
  • Getting 1.5's or IE's
  • Only reading one night or none outside of English class
  • Putting in little to no effort in class
  • Distracting students and teacher resulting in wasted learning time for self and others
  • Often not on topic
  • Has little to no participation
  • Does not do any re-takes
  • Is never prepared
  • Has selective listening that results in many misunderstandings

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