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    Grading help

    How would you grade this exam for a 5th grader? The matching, multiple choice, and content for the short answers are all correct, but these sentences are so messy and full of spelling errors that some points need to come off. She has nice cursive and can print neatly but always uses messy printing on tests and quizzes. She has a speech disability that affects her ability to sound out words, but a lot of these words were flashcard items or were right there on the test. She should have copied the spelling from the question. I don't want to be too harsh but also don't want her to become an adult who produces and makes excuses for sloppy work. I have to assign a numerical grade for each class and turn in a portfolio of work that contains all tests and quizzes, so this will go into the packet for the bureaucrats and its grade will contribute to her class grade.
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    #2
    Hello.

    When I was teaching, I marked up my students' papers in every subject, just like you have done. If the word was spelled correctly in a word box or somewhere on the test, I counted off 1/2 point for the misspelling. If it was a word that a poor speller just didn't know, I corrected it but didn't mark off. If I thought it was laziness, I would make the student rewrite it all perfectly from the corrected test I handed back. And I might take off a few points for the necessity for this, but give half of them back when I got the corrected perfect paper. Sometimes, students just have to redo their work, and hopefully they will not want to do it and be more careful next time. I'm a big fan of modeling what it should look like and then requiring the effort to make it look like that! You have clearly corrected each error, so it should be easy for your student to rewrite this page.

    Maybe I was too tough though. Every time I handed out a test with a word bank, I would stress that there was no need for a misspelled word, and I would threaten to count the entire question wrong if the word was misspelled, but usually I only took half off.

    Tanya

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      #3
      Originally posted by Meg323 View Post
      How would you grade this exam for a 5th grader? The matching, multiple choice, and content for the short answers are all correct, but these sentences are so messy and full of spelling errors that some points need to come off. She has nice cursive and can print neatly but always uses messy printing on tests and quizzes. She has a speech disability that affects her ability to sound out words, but a lot of these words were flashcard items or were right there on the test. She should have copied the spelling from the question. I don't want to be too harsh but also don't want her to become an adult who produces and makes excuses for sloppy work. I have to assign a numerical grade for each class and turn in a portfolio of work that contains all tests and quizzes, so this will go into the packet for the bureaucrats and its grade will contribute to her class grade.
      What subject was this quiz for? I generally decide how I grade based on what the subject is. For example, if it a Latin quiz then I take off points for a misspelled Latin word, but not necessarily a misspelled English word if it is pretty close. I looked at the sample and decided we have very different ideas of “messy”. If the directions were write in cursive that is one thing, but if it wasn’t specified no one is going to look at that and comment negatively on the handwriting. Could it be better, sure, but it was legible and it could be much worse. It doesn’t appear that this is a spelling test or a grammar test so I would look at the mistakes she makes, mark them, and continue to deal with them in the content area. I wouldn’t be opposed to glancing it over and handing it back to her and tell her that she made some capitalization mistakes and telling her to check and see if she can find and correct them before you grade her work. It is hard for adults to get it all to come together at once and even more so for kids. They can only pick so many things to concentrate on at once - handwriting, subject content, spelling, capitalization, subject/verb agreement, and punctuation - it is a lot at once when you stop to think about it. I don’t grade anything besides Latin in 5th, but it sounds like you have to. Do you have instructions you have to follow? What are they looking for? Do you have to grade every test and quiz? Can you just say A or B or pass or do you have to calculate percentage? I would follow the rules, but not give them more than they need. If forced to grade, I would mark the mistakes like you did and then look over the test as a whole and not bother with points at all.
      Dorinda

      Plans for 2021-2022
      15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
      DD College Freshman
      DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
      DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
      DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

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        #4
        Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
        What subject was this quiz for? I generally decide how I grade based on what the subject is. For example, if it a Latin quiz then I take off points for a misspelled Latin word, but not necessarily a misspelled English word if it is pretty close.
        This is a really important point, especially for young or struggling students. I teach a lot of Latin, and I suspect a few of my students are dyslexic. I will count off for mixing up "ab" and "ad" because it changes the meaning entirely, but I won't take off if a student translates circum as "arounb" instead of "around." I will write it out so the students see it modeled correctly, but I think that marking off too much for ancillary subjects is demoralizing to the student and thereby counterproductive.
        Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys, teacher at St. Dominic Latin (FFL, TFL, 4FL, Traditional Logic 1&2), Memoria College student

        2021-2022
        9th grade - a mix of MPOA, Vita Beata, Lukeion, and AOPS
        8th grade - 8M with modifications
        4th grade - 4A

        "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

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          #5
          Thank you for the feedback. I have to keep all tests and quizzes and average them into a grade on a 100-point scale, so it needs a numerical grade. I decided to take off half a point for each inexcusable mistake (words that were in the question or memorized as flashcard IDs). Thank you for that guidance, Tanya! I didn't have her correct it because it was Friday afternoon and we were feeling the need to be done for the week, but we talked about turning in work that she can be proud of, not just work that she thinks is good enough to check the box. The next time she takes a quiz or test, I'll remind her of our conversation and tell her that I'll give it back for revision if it's not up to snuff.
          This was a history quiz. I know that it's hard for a kid her age to pull together everything that she has learned but feel like quizzes and tests are the places where that should start to happen. I guess I was expecting her already to understand that, but that was unrealistic. She was at a Montessori school (no quizzes or tests) for 3K-3rd. Last year, in 4th, we homeschooled but took it easy. I let things like this slide because we were all stressed out and were trying to manage 3 homeschoolers, 2 kids in virtual school, a toddler, and 2 parents working from home.

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