Grading - Any advice on how to give grades while using MFW?

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bethben
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:34 pm

Grading - Any advice on how to give grades while using MFW?

Unread post by bethben » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:49 pm

Recording Progress

I've seen a report card that our public school issues for grades 1-5 and they don't have "grades" like A-F. They have 3 (or more) levels of evaluations such as 1-exceeds grade level standards, 2- meets grade level standards, 3-below grade level standards. So in things like LA and math - it's easier to determine. I guess for Bible and history, it they're listening and not running around screaming, I'd give them a meets grade level. If they're asking questions like "Was Joseph more Egyptian or Jewish in his ruling style?", I'd give them an exceeds grade level :)

I'm assuming you don't have a BA degree otherwise, you don't need to send in report cards ( I live in MN also).
Beth

Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:24 pm

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:20 pm
My youngest was public schooled thru 2nd grade, and he received grades at three levels -- something like needs improvement, successful, and above average. I could check his old report cards, if you like, for the exact wording.

He received grades in everything from phy ed to music. I would sometimes wonder how they reached such a conclusion. When I went to conferences, the assessments shown to me were things like samples of printing and a self-assessment. No mention was ever made of assignments missed during sick days or vacations. The rest of the grading, I would assume, was just based on the teacher's hunch?

Even my older kids' teachers often just used check-marks in an assignment book -- attendance and turning in a paper meant they passed the assignment (or not). Extra credit made up for a myriad of errors in some classes. Very little was evaluated thoroughly, let alone given feedback for the student to use for improvement.

I feel I have a good grasp on what my kids excel in, where they are average, and where they need improvement. But I also use a book called Evaluating For Excellence to evaluate my youngest at the beginning and end of each year. Plus of course he takes the required MN standardized tests. Eval. For Excellence is more about evaluation & goal making; it is not a point system or anything. But I feel that grade point averages apply more to high school.

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:12 pm
As a long-time Girl Scout leader, I came into contact with girls from many backgrounds, including those who moved several times every year. My experience was that the schools just asked the parent what grade the child was in & put them in that grade. Transcripts mean very little until somewhere between 7th and 10th grade.

Don't fret, and consult HSLDA if you need reassurance that you do not have to feel obligated to immitate public schooling.

HTH, Julie

cbollin

Dh wants grades and transcripts

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:28 pm

Mississippi Jenni wrote:We like MFW, but dh has some reservations about keeping it. He wants an all in one curriculum like ABeka. He also wants the kids records to be kept and have an official transcript. We are new to homeschooling and are not really sure about how these things work.
When I hear transcripts with homeschool, I think high school time. So you have time. Transcripts can be as simple as a spreadsheet (like Excel) or a Word document. There is even various software out there just for homeschoolers. You have plenty of time to deal with all of that and learn all about it. Here is some looking ahead info from HSLDA. http://www.hslda.org/highschool/academi ... ranscripts

At the convention, you can talk with David Hazell how MFW’s high school program will help with that. Somethings are just easier to talk about in person with the information right there. And just knowing ahead of time that it is already there can help too.

And also, try to talk with local friends who have been homeschooling for several years or many years. Talk to the ones who homeschooled the whole way through, and to ones who only homeschooled through a certain age. It will give you a flavor of how it is done in your area.

As far as record keeping goes for this year (your oldest is in K, right?), just save some of those K worksheets in a folder to show progress. You can write up a simple year end summary that just lists Subjects taught and “grades” in those subjects. Then make a list of resources used. For example, this year I’m using 1850-MOD, so I list the materials that are in the basic and deluxe package and list Singapore Math, etc. We keep the notebooks that are made as one way to keep records of progress of skills and information learned.

I use Pass/Needs Improvement system for grades in elementary. Once the child is in Jr. High – it becomes easier to give more objective grades in subjects such as science, math, language arts. And even in MFW’s high school program, the teacher’s manual gives suggestions for giving grades, and more “objective” style tests are available in the subjects.

Just one opinion.
-crystal

cbollin

Anybody have tips for keeping track of progress?

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:01 pm

moose5 wrote:Anybody have any tips for keeping track of progress? Grading Spelling and Math comes easy but how do I know if he's reaching his potential or how well he really is doing when giving a narration or summarization? He enjoys many of the subjects taught but will often cut writing and art short - I think. I do try to encourage him to give more information, etc. What should I expect from a smart 4th grader when it comes to reading, narration/conversation, & writing assignments? I feel like I need some kind of measure.
Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:19 pm
It is hard to track progress in subjects that are more subjective in nature.

For those kinds of things I sometimes just look at the standards of learning for my state and just get a general feel for progress over a year's time. That works well for subjects such as reading comprehension, and level of material, and for some parts of writing. On some of the online resources, my state has a Writing Rubric so that gives me a more objective feel to what I'm doing.

(if you're interested in something like that try this link... and scroll to page 6 and 7 of the sample to see what I'm talking about it)
writing rubric

For narration -- I just listen to what my children are able to say back to me. I listen for the details of what they are able to pick up. I might ask leading questions such as tell me who/what/where/when/why this is happening. I've never really figured out how to measure a grade level on narrations. I look for progress of skills over time.

one other little thing...... he may be a very bright child, but still not ready for all skill levels in reading and writing and math, etc to match up with that. And that's ok. Look for growth and progress over time. Is he doing his best? If you look at the charts on the link I gave to those state standards of learning, you'll see that a lot of the writing is still subjective.

I just don't want you to look at those state standards and think that because you have a bright 4th grader that he *should* get super high ranks on each and every thing he does. He might still be struggling with writing and that still falls within normal range for 4th grade boys. that's what I mean :)
-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
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Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:02 pm

Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:18 pm
You have a lot of options for evaluating your students. Some of them are:

1. Tests and letter grades. Some of them can be purchased to go with MFW books, and others you would have to create.

2. Public schools usually grade something like Satisfactory/Needs Improvement. In elementary school, this is quite subjective and teachers have shown me very little concrete evaluation when my kids have been in ps. (I've actually never seen letter grades in elementary school, and I've seen a lot of schools.)

3. Standardized tests, given by you or by someone else.

4. Creating your own goals, criteria for accomplishing those goals, and doing an evaluation of them every so often.

Here are a few past discussions that might spark an idea?!

Recording Progress
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 2404[above]

Testing - Are there any tests in any of the curriculum?
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?t=1127

HSmommi2mine
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:59 pm

Grades - How are you giving or not giving them?

Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:29 pm

CharisGirl wrote:"Grades"? (how are you giving them or not giving them?) I feel like this is something I need to address before the year gets away from me! I would appreciate any tips or where to look for direction!
Most of the time in ps the early grades are like "Satisfactory, Outstanding, needs improvement" They are not percentages and all of that. Once a week or once a month you could just write down how you think she is doing in Reading, math, handwriting and the unit study. At thee end of the year whichever "grade" she had the most can be the cumulative grade for the year.

I have hs tracker but I have gone back to pen and paper.
~Christina

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids

doubleportion
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What age/grade to start letter grades?

Unread post by doubleportion » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:00 pm

baileymom wrote:I am curious to know at what age/grade to start giving an actual "grade letter"...and what subjects to give them in?

Right now, I only give my 6th grader a math grade. In everything else, I just make sure they know the material...redoing things that were done wrong...or rereading things, etc.

We do not have to turn in records/grades to our state, so should I give a "grade" at all during the elementary years? I know that you do in High School for transcripts and such. Just wondering...
Some of that depends on your child's personality. Some kids have no problems receiving grades in the elementary grades, others have meltdowns if they get less than perfect grades. I have always given my dd a graded spelling test each week. (grades don't phase her one way or the other) But that is the only graded subject she has so far. We just correct dictation and math to be sure for more accuracy on the next go round. I'm sure you'll get more input from others on here who have been doing this for much longer than I.

Just my opinion, but for the junior high years I would be giving grades in most subjects just for preparation toward high school and college.

:)
Edie

Toni@homezcool4us
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Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:59 pm

We don't give grades (oldest is in 4th) but we, uh hem, "partner in conference" on a very regular basis. ;)
Blessings!
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
~Toni~
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hsmomof5
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Unread post by hsmomof5 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:36 pm

We gave grades in our hs until this past year. We slowly tapered away from it and use narration for testing. Our state is not strict on such. However, we do test our highschooler.
~Kysha
ds 19 (college freshman), ds 12, ds 12, and ds 10 (ECC '08) (CTG '09), dd 3 (Preschool)

HSmommi2mine
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Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:46 pm

I am planning on giving grades in 8th grade so ds and I can both get use to the process. I tried last year and it was a huge, gigantic, awful pain and did not motivate ds as my husband had hoped.

I want to get the hang of grades before it counts on transcripts.
~Christina

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids

LA in Baltimore
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:01 pm

Giving Grades

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:11 pm

I don't give a 'formal' end of semester or year grade until 7th or 8th grade. But...I do put some grades on their papers because...

1) Some of my children want a grade. They seem to enjoy seeing how they did and trying to get it higher next time or keeping it there if it is a 100! Math papers and Spelling Power review tests, delayed recall tests, and end of level tests are great for that. I never grade their written work. Just put comments, suggestions, and encouragement on it.

2) When I don't grade anything it is easy for me to think they are 'getting it' when they aren't. I go over their work everyday and we talk about what they need to correct and I sometimes incorrectly assume they got it that time. Just because we went over it AGAIN, individually, doesn't mean it sank in. A few years ago I began giving grades on some things (even though I don't really do anything with them K-6) so that I would know that they were really mastering a good portion of the concrete type course material. It was just an easier way to keep track of 4 students. Score below 80 percent is a yellow flag!

Just my humble input.

LA in Baltimore
homeschooling my 4 (ages 16, 10, 9, and 8)
1st year with MFW, 11th year homeschooling

meagabby
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:07 pm

How to grade

Unread post by meagabby » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:14 pm

6mobileandersons wrote:I am using Adventures with my 2nd grader and K. I now live in a state where I have to turn in grades. I don't know how to grade History or Science since it is a reading and hands on approach. I have to have some sort of paper trail. Any suggestions would be great.
We, too, moved to a state where we have an Umbrella School and are required to turn in grades. My first attempt at it, I used what I remembered from my elementary report cards.
E- excellent
S- satisfactory
N- needs improvement
I- incomplete

A few areas I felt were satisfactory because we were having trouble... (We typically rework the mistakes until we have 100%) I reported a few 'S' grades and later was told that they consider that to be what a 'C' grade is and that isn't really 'satisfactory'.

Just saying all that, so that you may check with who you are reporting to so that you can understand the way they will interpret what you turn in.
:)
dena
Loving learning with MFW!

momonthemove
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:02 pm

Grading with ECC

Unread post by momonthemove » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:05 pm

Franklin7 wrote:New to MFW. I am required to report grades twice a year. Any suggestions on how to come up with grading system? Thanks!
In terms of the geography things....

Map activities -- color and id the things on the map. You could grade a, b, c, d, e. Were they correct? How was their effort? Sloppy? Neat? Etc.

Math has grades for us with TT. We do a different LA too but you could look at assigning grades too. Spelling/ vocabulary same thing.

Good luck.
Deb
Wife to a wonderful husband of 18 years.
momonthemove to 3 wonderful children, 12, 8 and 5

http://jibberjabberx3.blogspot.com/

cbollin

Re: Grading with ECC

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:46 pm

welcome along!
I'm required to report twice a year to my umbrella school

In elementary (before grade 7), we can do pass/fail.
subjects would be
Bible
Geography
Science
Math
Language arts

In jr. high, ECC geography grades could be based on worked completed on time and how much is learned over the year. Some subjects, like Bible, seem more subjective and based on participation.

What grade levels are you working with?
Franklin7 wrote:I have a 4th and 5th grader. We have to give letter grades. I am sure once we really get in to it the grading will become easier. Just a little nervous. Thank you both!
I'm still in wow.. that you have to give letter grades in elementary.

I would have no problem doing it this way if I were in your situation. I would take the Excellent, Satisfactory and Needs Improvement subjective feels and convert those to A (excellent), C (good enough) and well.. on subjective courses like social studies and sciences, needs improvement/fail is not needed in home tutoring environment. Most homeschoolers are diligent enough for that.

Instead of looking at daily or weekly assignments to make the subjective call for the A vs C.. I would look at the semester as a whole. For subjective courses (content based vs. skill based) I would have no problem giving an A in social studies and science in those ages as long as the student is showing up for class, doing the Geography Game, trying hard most days, completing assignments without too much goofing off, and shows that he learned something over the semester. Notebooking pages are being completed even with help from teacher to learn how to do so. Learning how to learn is taking place.

I would not do it as daily percentages of correct vs. incorrect at this age at all. It would be about learning how to learn, asking and answering questions, doing work. It would be subjective based even to get the A.

for skill based worked... different approach might be needed. But for social studies and science (and Bible) in elementary.... if the student and teacher are diligent to do daily work and stay on track over the semester, learn together, enjoy the time, and add to their general knowledge, I would not have a problem giving an A with integrity. In ECC, they keep a year long notebook on assignments, so I'd have a ready made portfolio to show the work is being done. That would add to my comfort level that it would be given in good faith with integrity on those subjects.
are they doing their best? work getting done on time.. fairly neat for their abilities.

just one way to think about it for content based subjects in elementary.

-crystal

Julie in MN
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Our local bank give $$ for good grades...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:26 pm

extrafor6 wrote:First of all, this is our first year using MFW and we are LOVING it! (we are using ECC and 1st)

Now, onto my question...
When I recently went to open savings accounts for my dc, the woman opening the account for me said that the bank will deposit $1 for each A (up to $10) per grading period. (The grading period in our county is four nine-weeks). She said that even homeschoolers bring in report cards and it's perfectly fine. She also said that it doesn't necessarily have to be an A but could be the "highest mark available", i.e., excellent, mastered, etc. FYI, we live in a state where the only requirement is that we send in our letter of intent to homeschool at the beginning of the school year.

So, I want to have integrity in the matter, but I've never kept grades and I don't even do tests with my dc. I'm not against giving grades or doing report cards, and I actually think the challenge would be great for my oldest dd. My school aged dc are in 4th, 3rd, and 1st. Any suggestions for some easy, honest ways to grade?
Thanks!!
Stephanie
Hi Stephanie,
It seems like her answer regarding the grade of "excellent" would do the trick. In all my years of public school (including 5 gradeschools in 2 states) and my kids' public school years (2 cities), I've never seen letter grades before middle or high school. I didn't give homeschool grades, but I would have followed the pattern and given "satisfactory, needs improvement, or exceeds expectations" types of things.

As for how I'd decide, I don't think I've seen a little kid get all top grades, so I might be hesitant to give the top grade for every single category. I'd probably take my child's notebook and go through and compare the earlier pages with the later ones. That's basically what teachers showed us at school conferences when discussing report cards -- here's something he wrote at the beginning of the year, and here's something he wrote for me this week, etc. I also used to set goals for my children every year, so I could see their improvement that way, too. Otherwise, I'd forget and wouldn't realize all the progress we had made.

What a great bank. Our local city bank used to do some nice things, like giving Boy and Girl Scouts free accounts, but now they just act like any other bank. It's nice to know yours still has that home-town feel.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

TriciaMR
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Grading question

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:42 am

mshanson3121 wrote:When do you start testing/grading etc... in MFW?
There is no formal grading in the younger years. (Some states require standardized testing, like my state, but others don't.) you "test" by having the kids tell back what they learned in their own words. Then you can tell if they got the main point. When you get to jr. high math and science recommendations have tests.

As a mom, you will know if your kids are doing well or not. The hardest part is figuring out how much is discipline vs. learning disabilities.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Mom2theteam
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Re: Grading question

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:13 pm

I agree with Trish, though I haven't been through all MFW yet. I don't plan on testing, really. I feel like I can know when my kids understand and know something. I will probably start testing them in math at some point, but I'm not sure when, later elementary. Science probably the same. I might do things like spelling "tests" but other than that, I don't plan on testing in other subjects.

And, yes, I totally agree with Trish on knowing what is a discipline issue and what is something else. I've been struggling with that with my oldest. :~
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Grading question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:21 pm

Also agreeing with Trish and Heather, just adding a few more areas.

If you want to train your kids to pass tests, you can use the math reviews or the spelling tests etc. But mostly it's a matter if learning to correct our errors until we get it right, which to me is a huger skill to learn. That's usually done with copywork, discussion of history/Bible reading, math problems, writing, etc. Our kids get the benefit of teaching via private tutor, rather than mass market type of teaching that is less precise for the individual student.

I'll add that in high school, everything is formally graded, though not 100% based on testing.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cjgrubbs
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:10 pm

Struggling with lack of grading

Unread post by cjgrubbs » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:07 pm

We are using 1850-Modern this year. It is our first year to use MFW; we previously have used Mystery of History and Apologia science. I like MFW and we are enjoying the use of the Usborne science books but I'm feeling like my 5th grader is remembering how fun the projects are but not really understanding or grasping the science of it. We are still in the chemistry portion and that is a little difficult to grasp at this age so maybe that's it. I don't know how to reinforce the material as there is no built in review, vocabulary or worksheets without creating these things myself.

Guess I'm looking for what others have done. Do you feel it's enough just as written for 5th and 6th graders? Or do you add in some additional work? When I bought this package I assumed it would be everything I would need and I really don't want to commit any time to writing worksheets, reviews or tests.
DS1 - 8th grade
DS2 - 5th grade
DS3 - 2nd grade
DD1 - 4 - home from China since March 2013

Julie in MN
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Struggling with lack of grading - Science

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:30 pm

cjgrubbs wrote:We are using 1850-Modern this year. It is our first year to use MFW; we previously have used Mystery of History and Apologia science. I like MFW and we are enjoying the use of the Usborne science books but I'm feeling like my 5th grader is remembering how fun the projects are but not really understanding or grasping the science of it. We are still in the chemistry portion and that is a little difficult to grasp at this age so maybe that's it. I don't know how to reinforce the material as there is no built in review, vocabulary or worksheets without creating these things myself.

Guess I'm looking for what others have done. Do you feel it's enough just as written for 5th and 6th graders? Or do you add in some additional work?
So you are mostly worried about the lack of grading in science, right? Cuz we did have a small testing type conversation recently if you are thinking more generally: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14280

I'm probably not the best to answer because I'm not a big grading person. Also, I didn't even ever do the 1850MOD science because my ds was doing 7-8th grade science then. But I'll just start since your post looked lonely :)

In general I think MFW calls the 2nd-6th grade stage as the "learning to love to read" stage, and I might extend that to "learning to love to learn." A curiosity, an attention to detail, a desire to learn more the next day - those were all my goals in 5th-6th. Honestly, the science at those ages is often an "approximation" because it would be too complex to really explain the details correctly, so just having a general understanding doesn't seem too far off the mark to me. And when my son attended a local lab given by a junior hi teacher, he complained that he had already done every activity using MFW in elementary school, so I think the exposure was very much on par.

If you do want more, one simple thing I added sometimes was a lab report. It was always the same, so I didn't have to reinvent the wheel every time. I have some old samples here, I think this was 4th grade CTG which really lent itself to lab reports, but he did a few in later years as well:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9057

Another thing I did I think in 7th was use science terms for spelling/vocab tests. I just kept a running list, and marked off which had been mastered, and the rest I kept using every Friday or whatever it was.

Well, a couple of ideas, anyways,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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