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  • 1.  Assessments in the Primary Grades

    Posted 05-21-2017 12:19 PM
    Hi Everyone,

    I teach first grade with an Early Childhood background.  The teachers at my school are required to give letter grades in 1st-8th grades.  How do I assess my students in first grade appropriately and "transfer" that to a letter grade that really tells how each child is doing.  I have used rubrics, but don't want to use a rubric for everything.  I have also just given 10 points if they understand/show something and 9 out of 10 if they don't, but don't feel that is really appropriately telling what the child knows.  If I go any lower than that, it really hurts their grade.  The "grades" that we are required to, but are hard to give are in Grammar, Science and Social Studies.  Any other suggestions?

    Rachel Tyler
    Saint Charles MO

  • 2.  RE: Assessments in the Primary Grades

    Posted 05-22-2017 02:53 PM
    What if you made your rubric like this?

    A                                 B                             C                            D                    F
    Ready to move on      almost there       making progress    needs help      not trying
    does the skill              does most of the
    nearly perfectly           and will probably
    and is ready for the     be ready to
    next step or grade       move on

    Susan Lindaman
    Sullivan MO

  • 3.  RE: Assessments in the Primary Grades

    Posted 05-22-2017 04:48 PM
    Here are some of my thoughts and suggestions:

    1. Try a scale that goes up to 100. I'm not sure if this would disrupt your current point system, but this could provide you with flexibility. This scale might not confine your grading system to significantly impacting the child's grade.

    2. Consider revisiting past rubrics-- is there any way to revise, making them more effective for you? In early childhood ed., we understand that to evaluate a child appropriately means to consider their individual development. Can you create a "standard rubric" to fulfill your school's requirement in the child's progress and also create a rubric centered on individual growth? This can help the child, the family, and the school see the child's development more appropriately.

    3. I'm not sure how you are assessing, but could you distribute the weight of grades through different skills in each subject? Perhaps via the state standards? A wider variety of skills being assessed means more opportunities for the child to demonstrate their knowledge and less weight on each skill assessed. Also, could you adapt the current methods you are using for assessment, or are they determined by your school? For young children, grammar rules, in isolation, might not make sense on a test, yet it may make more sense applied with other subjects in science reports or short stories. From an early childhood perspective, it can even be appropriate to assess some social studies skills through a child's in-class behavior and interactions with others.

    I hope this helps!

    Christine Hill
    Senior in the early childhood education
    program at Rowan University
    Glassboro, NJ