Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

SBG Success – Part 2 (Grading System)

Posted on: October 30, 2011


With weekly quizzes and so many additional concept quizzes, I was worried about the time it would take to grade everything.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how quickly I can get through a set of quizzes, it’s quick because I don’t worry about partial credit.

Each problem gets one of four grades:

  • 4 – The problem is done correctly, no errors
  • 3 – The student understands the underlying concept but made at least one or more mistakes
  • 2 – The student is starting to understand the concept, but clearly isn’t there yet
  • 1 – No real understanding
  • 0 – No attempt at a solution

Grading in the grade book is simple.  Students get the highest score achieved times ten.  If they do worse on a quiz, nothing happens to their grade.  When they get the first 4 on a concept, they get 40/50 in the grade book.  Get a second 4 and the 40 becomes a 50 and they are done with that concept.  The kids love to write “MASTERED” on a completed concept.

I’ve set up a spreadsheet (Gradebook – names are removed) in Excel to handle the grades.  Each student gets their own block.  When I enter a quiz grade, I change the header grade and change the color to  orange to remind me to change their grade in the school system.  Blue means the concept is complete.  Red numbers means the grade came from an after school quiz and not a weekly quiz.

The students use a Concept Checklist to keep track of where they are on each concept.  Every week or so I cut up my spreadsheet and hand out the pieces to make sure their scores agree with mine.  I plan to start a new spreadsheet each quarter since I can’t change the previous quarter’s grades.  So far, this is handling my grading requirements.

Next post – Setting up concepts and creating quizzes

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What’s New in 2013/2014?

Every year brings a change, this one is no exception.

I will be picking up the sophomore honors Algebra II class to keep them separate from the juniors. This should help accelerate them and put them on a stronger track towards Calculus. Looks like there will be only one section each of Physics and Calculus, but still two of Robotics & Engineering.

Hot topics this year are going to be the Common-Core Standards, Standards-Based Grading (SBG), improving AP Calculus scores, and somehow adding Python, maybe as a club.

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