I don’t know how many times I’ve opened my kids binders and felt like I could just pull my hair out!
My oldest hates writing, and I mean HATES it. So much so, that he will sometimes make up his own abbreviations for words and ends up turning a paper in that has sentences that look something like this: “Th. mn. ws. lkin. at th. cretre. in th. cve.” All the while I’m staring at it going “What?”. Or on his worksheets in which he is supposed to change something in a sentence by rewriting it, he will instead mark it out, or draw an arrow and add just that part. I could go on about this kid and his loathe of writing. It has gotten bad enough though, that he’s gotten his brother, who is usually a meticulous writer, in on it sometimes.
I devised a grading system that goes right along with my regular grading and makes them accountable for things like this.
It’s easy to grade something when you have a simple right or wrong answer, but what if you have a right answer and they didn’t complete it like they were supposed to. Or maybe they misspelled half the words when they are right in front of them, or didn’t use proper capitalization and punctuation. You want to give them credit for having the right answer, but at the same time, you don’t want them to continue to do things half asked, or think they can continue to do things that way because you didn’t call them out on it.
In the case of the right answer, but only doing half the work: I mark those as 1/2 points (1 out of 2 possible points).
For example; There are 10 questions, of those 10, 8 of them are great, but the last 2 they got lazy and only did half the work.
Those last 2 would be counted as 2 and they would receive a 1/2 for each of those questions.
Instead of figuring the grade on 10, it would be out of 12. So, for a 10/12 they would have a grade of 83%.
This can work for all instances in which the question has more than 1 part but is only counted as 1 on the worksheet. Just make sure to add all of the parts into the total figure. Example; Out of 12 questions, 6 of them have 4 parts, but are only counted as one. 6 points for the 6 that are only 1 part, but 6×4 for the 6 that have 4 parts. So, you’d figure the score on 30 points instead of 12.
This one takes a little more effort, but I feel like it’s worth it. It’s aimed at the spelling, punctuation, and capitalization aspect of their schoolwork.
I call it an SP (spelling and punctuation) score.
As I read through their work I mark and correct any mistakes. After I get their regular grade, I go back through and count all words and punctuation in the work. I count all words that are or should be capitalized as 2 points. Anything that I had to add I count as well, such as words or punctuation that should have been in the work. I take the total amount and subtract any mistakes.
Example; There are 100 words and punctuation marks, out of the 100 I had to make 22 corrections. So the grade would be figured out on 88/100. I do this for all written works. When I put these grades in my binder I write them in the row right under the work for which it was figured as “SP Grade”. I figure these grades separately when I average their scores at the end of the month, quarter, etc.
This way of grading my kids work has helped out in ways I never thought possible. They still have days were they just don’t care and do it anyway, but when they know something depends on their grade average when they are done they will 8 out of 10 days try a little harder.
Try it out! If you found this post useful make sure to share on social media, hit the like button, or scroll down and comment! Thanks for reading!