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Help for
Homework Hassles
Volume 15

Homework + Participation Grade

Another approach to grading homework without headaches is including homework in a grade that reflects attitude, participation, and effort. Students might start each quarter with a "100." Points can be deducted from that grade when students are late, when they fail to bring materials or hand in homework, show poor cooperation and/or attitude... You will want to create a classroom rating scale that might include

  • -5 points for a missed homework assignment.
  • -3 points for lackluster effort (not contributing in any meaningful way) in a cooperative-group assignment.
  • -1 point for not coming to class prepared with a pencil and other required materials.
  • +1 point for adding an important point to a classroom discussion or offering a correct response/answer that nobody else had.
  • +3 points for each graded homework assignment with a score of 90 or higher.
  • +5 points for going way above-and-beyond in a way the teacher did not expect.

The important thing is that students should understand the rating scale in advance; that way, they will know the things you consider to be important enough to impact their "100." Students might even get involved by coming up with the plus- and minus-point system. Of course, it is conceivable that a student would end up with a grade that exceeds 100.

Article by Cara Bafile
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