Rebecca Phelps SEDU 550

What information do you use when determining a grade?

When I determine grades for classes that I currently co-teach or for my pull-out classes I use a number of different things to determine a grade. All grades in our district are determined by their performance on summative assessments, projects and assignments. For my pull out classes which are only for students with special educational needs I determine grades using both formative, summative grades and informal assessments. For students with special educational needs I assess the progress they have made by assessing them at the beginning and then using progress monitoring.

Will all the information count equally?

In our school only summative projects, assignments and/or assessments count towards their grade in a class. The formative work is graded but does not count towards their final grade. In our pull out courses which are for students who are not able to be successful in the regular education classrooms, I have summative assignments count for 80% and formative work is the other 20%.

What information do you provide parents and students about your grading system?

Our school district uses Infinite Campus as a program for online grading, attendance, documents etc. Students and parents have access to the program both at school and at home. Parents frequently use Infinite Campus to check the performance of their child on formative and summative assessments, projects, assignments etc. It is also required that all teachers provide progress grades/reports half way through each quarter. The special education teacher uses progress reports quarterly to determine how well each student is meeting their IEP goals.

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How can a teacher help reduce pupils’ test anxiety while maintaining their motivation to do well on a test?

For students who I know suffer from test anxiety I use a few different strategies to help eliminate some of the anxiety before or during a test. I make sure students know about all upcoming assessments far enough in advance so they can prepare and plan out their studying. I also make sure that students have the appropriate resources to use to study from; study guides, online flash cards, study sessions after school etc. For students who I know get anxious during the testing I allow them to use a separate location, this usually means they leave with the educational assistant in the classroom to test in a resource room or conference room.

For students who have extended time for assessments per their IEP I would allow them to break it apart into parts. I require the students to finish the assessment within the same day but they may start it during the class period and finish it up in a resource study hall later that day.

How should a teacher respond to cheating? Should all forms of cheating be treated the same way?

Our school has a zero tolerance policy for cheating. If a student is caught cheating they will earn a zero for the assignment or assessment. The teacher will inform administration and the parents of the student of the cheating immediately. It is important that our school takes cheating very seriously as it could lead to getting kicked out of a University or lose of a job post-secondary. If a student was cheating by copying a peers work or answers they student who allowed them to use their work must also have consequences. We go over an entire unit on plagiarism in English 9 which covers what it is and ways to avoid it.

I believe all forms of cheating should be frowned upon and have serious repercussions. However, the consequences of cheating on a final exam and/or state test will be different than on a one page homework assignment.