View Full Version : Grading math?

Paige P
10-03-2013, 01:40 PM
Thankfully I don't have a high schooler yet as I'm still trying to work out kinks with everything (yes, even after all these years ;) ).

Yesterday, I actually gave all of my kiddos a math test (which I randomly do) to make sure they're "getting" what they're supposed to. Katie made a couple of silly errors (typical of her), and Mattie did great on everything (as I expected) except one area that we obviously haven't gone over (I thought she knew it, and she was clueless). Today, with M., we started from scratch on that area and have gone over it and over it.

BUT, all of that got me thinking about what you actually do when it counts for grading. Up to now, I monitor and do just what I did -- if there's something they don't get, then we got back over it until they've mastered it. Then, they should make an A.

For high school, though, I don't know what you do. Do you let them make corrections for partial credit? Do you let them retake a test? Do you give partial credit for answers?

I know my teachers always gave partial credit for answers. I also think I was allowed to retake tests and maybe the 2 grades were averaged? Or can you just reteach and retest if need be?

Katie is one who needs extra practice and review with Math. She's been doing much better, but we switched from Abeka to Saxon (Teaching CD, btw) and are back-tracking a lot. Even then, there are certain things we're reviewing and doing extra practice with in order to make certain she's getting it. She's in 7th, so it's not like I have to worry about this this year or even next, but I'm trying to think ahead.....

How do YOU deal with tests?

Do you actually break up grades like 25% class work (daily work), 25% quizzes, 50% tests or something like that?

Rachel Jane
10-03-2013, 02:25 PM
I always used mastery as my grading system and Mastery is an A.
After finished a LOF book, I would find a corresponding test on line and have them take it, like and algebra II final. If they got an A, that was the grade, if not, we figured out what needed to be shored up and learned it.

Heather W
10-03-2013, 02:39 PM
I'm with RJ. It's either mastery or not and mastery is the A.

10-03-2013, 03:29 PM
I've never required complete mastery. (Now, that sounds awful, doesn't it?? :) ) I just mean that if they get an A, then great. But if they don't, that's okay. They don't have straight A's on their transcript, and that's fine.

Now if a child takes a test and obviously scores poorly and clearly doesn't understand what he's doing, then I do stop things and back up and make sure he has a better understanding of what he's learning. But I don't camp out there until he can get 100%.

In younger grades, the reason is that they're going to be covering the same math year after year after year. They may forget it from year to year (like how to divide decimals or how to multiply mixed numbers), but then they'll quickly pick it up again. Once they begin Algebra, I did find that it's really easy to forget all that arithmetic if you're not using it. So I periodically give a refresher review to make sure they can still do all the operations with decimals, fractions, percents, etc. I had to do this with my senior just recently and it all came back to him very quickly. But they don't use it much in high school (thank you, calculators), or at least he didn't, so he needs the refresher from time to time.

With Algebra, Geometry, etc., if my ds got a high C or above on a test, I was fine with it if he was pretty much doing well with the daily assignments (80% or above, say). If he got lower than a high C, I would have him go back through the chapter and re-do some things, re-take the test, and I'd average the two test grades. But I never required an A. If I did, he may still be in Algebra 1 right now.

I don't use weighted grades, usually. I count daily math work and tests equally. I know that's not usually how it's done, but I've always done it that way. I also do give partial credit for answers.

Keep in mind I'm a non-mathy mom speaking about her non-mathy son, who is likely to go into a non-mathy field. If I knew he HAD to have absolute mastery of math, then I'd ... hmmmm, not sure what I'd do, because honestly, I don't think he would ever have 100% mastery in math no matter what.

10-03-2013, 03:53 PM
I do pretty much what Rebe described. We use Teaching Textbooks. I have one son that has to report to me if he gets less than a 90% but my other son, (who doesn't like math at all and would have a heart attack if he had to have a 90% or better) has to report to me if he gets less than an 80%.

My oldest didn't have the auto-grading and I just graded the daily assignments and recorded it. If I noticed he was having a problem, I helped him and we took care of it.

If I required mastery, (in any subject, not just math) I would be requiring my kids to spend more time on subjects they don't like or have a natural ability for. I would rather that time be spent on projects and subjects that do interest them.

Heather W
10-03-2013, 04:15 PM
FWIW, we require the mastery because he is capable. Anything less is doing him a disservice.

My dd just takes longer to get it and isn't right on the money every time, but she can do the work. She is artsy and non-mathy in the sense that she doesn't like it, but we infuse as much math into projects as possible. She will attack any math if it's needed for her crafty work. :yes:

Kendra AU
10-04-2013, 06:09 PM
Paige, I get what you're saying. In our home we expect mastery too & don't move on until it's been accomplished which has always had me debating the grade thing, all though our eldest went through more then half his math book before getting any problem wrong, & on tougher things he makes silly mistakes, the concept that he used or the way he solved the problem was correct he might have just put numbers in the wrong place, etc. Which is why I ALWAYS make him show his work. That's been the #1 rule from the start.

Anyway, in all my research on grading I had a Mum who said that she corrects math & the grade is given based on what was right & what was wrong. They have to correct what was wrong, but it doesn't change the grade. For my eldest that's a completely acceptable way of grading for highschool. I don't know that it would work for my younger child, but he's not highschool right now anyway. Having said that when it comes to rote work my youngest flies, it when he must sit & think it through that it gets a little more tedious he tends to slip. Anyway, just thought I'd throw that idea out there in regards to grading. :)