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How to Grade for Learning, K-12
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How to Grade for Learning, K-12

Third Edition
Edited by:


296 pages | Corwin
'After using these concepts and procedures for the past four years, I would recommend O'Connor's approach to all teachers who believe that grades should clearly communicate actual student learning. For educators who want to make grades more meaningful and useful to students, parents, and teachers, this is the book to read'—Forrest Clark, Math Teacher , Nisqually Middle School, Lacey, WA

'O'Connor not only provides readers with valuable information regarding the theory, context, and purpose of grading, he also includes practical strategies and solutions for classroom implementation'—Patricia Schenck, Academic Program Coordinator, Educator Preparation , Gulf Coast Community College

Academic assessment methods should help students grow and develop to their full potential. Many educators would agree, however, that traditional grading practices are incompatible with today's standards-based systems.

This third edition of the best-selling How to Grade for Learning demonstrates how to improve grading practices by linking grades with standards and establishing policies that better reflect student achievement. Ken O'Connor updates his eight guidelines for good grading, explains the purpose and key elements of each guideline, and offers recommendations for practical applications. The book examines a number of additional grading issues, including grade point average calculation and the use of computer grading programmes. This thoroughly revised edition includes:

- A greater emphasis on standards-based grading practices

- Updated research and additions to the sections on feedback and homework

- New sections on academic dishonesty, extra credit, and bonus points

- Additional information on utilizing level scores rather than percentages

- Reflective exercises

- Techniques for managing grading time more efficiently

An invaluable tool to help individual teachers assign grades that are accurate, meaningful, and supportive of learning, this book also makes an ideal staff development resource.

 
Foreword by Rick Stiggins
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
What Grading Terminology Is Needed?

 
What Is the Context of Grading?

 
Constructivist Theories of Learning

 
How Do These Concepts Affect Assessment?

 
Why Grade?

 
What Are the Underlying Perspectives on Grading?

 
Grading Practices and Guidelines

 
Grading Issues

 
 
1. Linking Grades
Guideline 1

 
The Case of Michael's Amazing Passing Shop Grade

 
What's the Purpose of the Guideline?

 
What Are the Key Elements of the Guideline?

 
What's the Bottom Line?

 
What's My Thinking Now?

 
A Reflection on Guideline 1

 
 
2. Using Performance Standards
Guideline 2

 
The Case of Sally's Shocking Grade

 
What's the Purpose of the Guideline?

 
What Are the Key Elements of the Guideline?

 
What's the Bottom Line?

 
What's My Thinking Now?

 
A Reflection on Guideline 2

 
 
3. Grading Individual Achievement
Guideline 3

 
The Case of Rick's Mysterious Falling Grade

 
What's the Purpose of the Guideline?

 
What Are the Key Elements of the Guideline?

 
What's the Bottom Line?

 
What's My Thinking Now?

 
A Reflection on Guideline 3

 
 
4. Sampling Student Performance
Guideline 4

 
The Case of Heather's Grim Grade

 
What's the Purpose of the Guideline?

 
What Are the Key Elements of the Guideline?

 
What's the Bottom Line?

 
What's My Thinking Now?

 
A Reflection on Guideline 4

 
 
5. Changing Grades
Guideline 5

 
The Case of Anil's Amazing Improvement

 
What's the Purpose of the Guideline?

 
What Are the Key Elements of the Guideline?

 
What's the Bottom Line?

 
What's My Thinking Now?

 
A Reflection on Guideline 5

 
 
6. Crunching Numbers
Guideline 6

 
The Case of Alexis' Absences

 
What's the Purpose of the Guideline?

 
What Are the Key Elements of the Guideline?

 
What's the Bottom Line?

 
What's My Thinking Now?

 
A Reflection on Guideline 6

 
 
7. Quality Assessment and Keeping Records
Guideline 7

 
The Case of Brian's Boosted Grade

 
What's the Purpose of the Guideline?

 
What Are the Key Elements of the Guideline?

 
What's the Bottom Line?

 
What's My Thinking Now?

 
A Reflection on Guideline 7

 
 
8. Communicating With Students About Grades
Guideline 8

 
The Case of Huan's Lunchtime Surprise

 
What's the Purpose of the Guideline?

 
What Are the Key Elements of the Guideline?

 
What's the Bottom Line?

 
What's My Thinking Now?

 
A Reflection on Guideline 8

 
 
9. Putting It All Together
Grade Book and Checklists

 
Conclusion

 
 
10. More Grading Issues
Grading Systems

 
Grading Exceptional Students

 
Computer Grading Programs

 
Calculating Grade Point Averages

 
Other Legal Issues

 
Grading Policy

 
 
11. Communicating Student Achievement to Others
Report Cards

 
Expanded-Format Reporting

 
Informal Communications

 
Student-Involved Conferencing

 
Summary

 
 
12. The Way Ahead
De-emphasizing Traditional Grades

 
Demystifying the Entire Grading Process

 
Focusing on the Process of Learning

 
Focusing on the Progress of the Individual Student

 
Summary

 
Recommendations

 
What's My Thinking Now?

 
 
Appendix I: Glossary
 
Appendix II: Guidelines for Grading in Standards-Based Systems
 
Appendix III: A Proposed Grading Policy
 
Bibliography
 
Additional Resources
 
Index

"Once again, Ken O'Connor has addressed one of the most emotional issues in education: grading. This book not only makes a compelling case for reformed grading practices, but also provides practical advice for the classroom teacher, school and system administrator, and policy maker at every level."

Douglas Reeves, Chairman
The Leadership and Learning Center

"Unlike some books that are long on theory and short on implementation, this book combines convincing arguments and research with practical classroom procedures. Writing with the teacher in mind, O'Connor provides the detailed procedures and examples needed to implement standards-based grading in the classroom. After using these concepts and procedures for the past four years, I would recommend O'Connor's approach to all teachers who believe that grades should clearly communicate actual student learning. For educators who want to make student grades more meaningful and useful to students, parents, and teachers, this is the book to read."

Forrest Clark, Math Teacher
Nisqually Middle School, Lacey, WA

"O'Connor not only provides readers with valuable information regarding the theory, context, and purpose of grading, he also includes practical strategies and solutions for classroom implementation."

Patricia Schenck, Academic Program Coordinator, Educator Preparation
Gulf Coast Community College

"O'Connor's patient, methodical approach, along with realistic examples, gives the reader a road map to define and implement grades that are truly based on academic achievement."

Duane Coleman, Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction
Oceanside Unified School District, CA

"O'Connor has raised the stakes and opened more thinking about grading with this third edition, updated for the critically thinking, research-based teacher of our increasingly diverse classrooms. O'Connor presents clear advice on grading homework, moving beyond points and percentages, grading academic dishonesty, grading cooperative learning groups, gradebook formats, dealing with zeroes and late work, students re-doing work, students' self-assessments, what grades can and cannot reveal, and much more."

Rick Wormeli, Teacher Trainer
Author, Fair Isn't Always Equal

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1


Preview this book

Kenneth B. O'Connor

Ken O’Connor is an independent classroom assessment consultant with a special interest in grading and reporting. An internationally recognized speaker who has presented in 47 states in the United States, 9 provinces and one territory in Canada, and 24 other countries, he has also consulted for schools, districts, and state and provincial departments of education. He had 23 years of classroom experience from grade 7 to grade 12, and 10 years of experience as a curriculum coordinator for a large school district. Ken was born in Melbourne, Australia, but has lived most of his life in the east end of Toronto, Canada.His major extra-curricular... More About Author

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