Grade Breakdown

50% Topics (see "Standards-Based Grading and Reassessments" below)
15% Quarterly Test (think cumulative final, but once per marking period)
10% In-Class Problem-Solving Assignments
5% Notebook Quiz
20% Math Applications (with Mrs Fehr)

Standards-Based Grading and Reassessments
I used to grade students based on a points system. This means that students were judged on how many questions they got right on a test or quiz, regardless of how difficult the questions were. However, when looking back at each student's progress, it became confusing to figure out what they did or didn't learn. Everything was jumbled together and you couldn't identify which topics were their weakest. Students would also practice and do well on a test, but then miraculously forget that information the next day.
I'm changing to a new system this year, one that measures how well students learn different topics. This allows students to identify their weaknesses and make improvements. I not only allow students to review material and retake tests, I encourage it.
Students will also be retaking quizzes, even if they have demonstrated that they have already mastered the material. It is not only important for students to master topics, but to retain that knowledge throughout the year. As a result, their scores will change over time, and hopefully, they will go up as students become more proficient at each skill.
There will be approximately nine topics per marking period. We will be learning the following topics in the first marking period:
topics.bmp

Students will be assessed and reassessed on these topics throughout the marking period. Further explanation of how these topics will be scored can be found here (click download on top right of page). Note: this file will be changed throughout the year.
As students reassess on a topic, their score will change using what's called a decaying average. Basically, this means that the most recent assessment has the biggest impact on a student's grade. Here is an explanation from activegrade.com:

Imagine your student has been assessed on a topic four times and he or she didn't understand the concept early on, but later figured it out. Traditional averaging would punish the student for not understanding it at the beginning. Decaying average weights the most recent score the most and therefore gives a final score that better shows the student's current understanding. You can see the differences in the outcomes below.

decaying average.JPG

The same is true if a student's understanding drops off the chart. If a student starts off with high scores that drop significantly, there's something going on there. Perhaps the assessments are inaccurate, the student was cheating, there's something going on outside of school, etc. Decaying average helps see that trend more quickly. If a low score is a one-time fluke, the student's score will recover quickly.

If you have any questions, please email me at nkraft@pottsville.k12.pa.us


Mr Kraft