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We do use assessments and grades across the board. We strive for the children to master the material they are presented with ( 93% and above) and grades gives us all an indication with how they are doing in relation to that goal.

Grades are not meant to punish nor make the child ‘feel bad’. It is a numerical expression of their effort and understanding and it tells a lot. Some times it illuminates the fact that we as the teacher need to teach the information in a different or better way, and other times it shows that the child needs to spend more time studying the material.

I do not just give numerical grades, I also provide detailed narrative about the work and what they succeeded in and how they can improve in the areas that need improvement. For Lela, who is in 1st grade, I really take a lot of notes documenting her growth. This is for my use in planning and proving where she is. After she takes a spelling test or math quiz she corrects and scores her own work so that the process of ‘grading’ is a learning process and one that she owns. I always ask, “Is it ok to get something wrong? {Yes} “What can we do with our mistakes?” {learn from them} and “Who makes mistakes? {Everyone!}.  And I believe that is what the function of grades and grading should be.

Another reason why we use assessments and grades is to allow our children to be in the habit of being assessed and to know how to deal with it emotionally. We see assessments and feedback (grades, conversations, narratives, etc.) as normal. Getting into college and working in a job will all involved assessing one’s performance and abilities. So we want the children to be comfortable with them. It is a great personal development tool to be able to stop and assess your self  along life’s road. So assessments and grades are not an uninvited stranger in our world.

After all, feedback is the breakfast of champions!

Below is our grading scale.

A = 100 – 92%

Indicates that the pupil has done excellent work and has mastered the course objectives, consistently with skill and thoroughness; and consistently has applied knowledge gained to new situations.

B = 91% – 83%

Indicates that the pupil has done excellent work and has mastered most of the course objectives, consistently with skill and thoroughness; and consistently has applied knowledge gained to new situations.

 C = 82% – 74%

Indicates that the pupil has done average work and has mastered many of the course objectives.

D = 73% – 65%

Indicates that the pupil has done below average work and has mastered few of the course objectives.

 F = 64% – 0%

Indicates that the pupil’s work fell below a level acceptable for the course and was unsatisfactory.

Hope this helps!

Chantel-LaVonne ~ The Muse

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