Thursday, May 5, 2016

More extra credit thoughts...

So, if I grade by standard, what is the standard of the extra credit?  What is it that I value and what am I trying to promote. Essentially, if this is the carrot, what's the horse?

I've been thinking of what it is I value.  Team work, persistence, being complete, thoughtful and thorough.  Not just showing work, but showing reasoning and justification.  So in terms of extra credit, I believe that it can only be achieved in certain weighted grading categories.

I'm pretty sure that next year's grading weights will be:
•  5%  Participation
•  15%  Homework
•  30% Quizzes, exit tickets, and learning logs
•  50%  Tests and projects

Extra credit will only be available in the participation category, and only through team points.  I'm estimating that a team will generate about 15-20 points per week.  I think the lowest a team can score will be 15 points, and the highest will be 20 points, with a potential for up to 3 extra credit points per week.  Participation points will be awarded when a team is randomly asked to share their responses, on a 3-point rubric.
1.  Bravery.  Thanks for trying
2.  Correct answer.
3.  Correct answer with justification and academic language.

One team would probably get called on no more than once a day, and they can earn a bonus point if the entire team did their homework, so 4x5 = 20.  If I make a lower-bound at 15, it shouldn't hurt their grade too much if they with a subpar team, and they can have extra credit with a better team to make up for it.  If I give them up to 3 extra points as a team, I think I won't get push back from parents who are only interested in independent work.

Thinking this through makes me feel a lot better.  I think I'm content.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I've been thinking about extra credit. Again.

The last time I contemplated extra credit, it was because I wanted stuff.  I still can't do it.  I can't shake the feeling of grades for sale.  But now, now I'm doing it as a carrot for increased team work.  Getting my kids to talk to each other in meaningful ways have aways been a challenge, and giving out team points always struck me as a little unfair because I want my students to be in control of their now destiny (and I don't want to hear any guff from my students' parents about that either).  This year, I've ameliorated that by including the team tests with all other quick assessments.  But that isn't increasing the level of team work.  My current idea:  allow extra credit, but only in the group/team work/participation category.

Stuff to ponder.