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Erin Mueller December 18, 2012 EPSY 485: De La Rue Final Exam Part I: Developing a Grading Plan 1) Grading

Policy a. This is a freshman English course focusing on the theme of identity (specifically who and what forms an identity) with approximately six units. b. Grading needs to be valid and reliable. The assessment needs to be fair and unbiased. The assessments need to test what was taught during class. Therefore, I would be aware of any potentially biased phrases or wording of assessments. If the assessment was valid, it would be aligned with the standards and objectives of the course. Assessment questions need to be different forms (ex. multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer, essay, etc.) to ensure that all students have the opportunity to express their understanding. c. This grading policy is meant to test student learning as well as how effective the teacher is and should be used to alter/improve teaching style to effectively present the information to the students. 2) Grading Components a. Assessment Methods i. Grades would consist of final projects, essays, oral presentations, and daily journal entries. The final projects would be open ended and allow students to be creative. For example, students would have to make a Prezi presentation in which they pick five people (one from the media, politics, gender leader, religion, etc.) that influenced their identity. In addition to this, they would be required to write a five page essay detailing why they chose those people and what they did. The daily journals would be a way to allow students to freely express their ideas and work out what was causing confusion. As a last resort, if students were not reading the text or doing the homework, then I would have unit tests and/or weekly quizzes. ii. Attendance, participation, attitude, effort, and improvement are important components of my grading policy. I cannot have these be the majority of the class grade, but they should be included in the final grade. In total, these components would make up ten percent of the students gradeeach part consisting of two percent. The way I see it, if students are in class and are at least actively listening, they will improve and make the information meaningful. If a student is in class, listening, asking questions, and is respectful, etc. then that student would do well. I would take daily attendance while the students are writing in their journals. I would randomly call on students (using a popsicle method) so that each student spoke at least once during the class period. Attitude, effort, and improvement are all things I can assess from observation.

iii. Writing is a necessary skill students need to learn, especially starting their high school careers. The essays and daily journal entries allow the students to practice writing formally as well as informally. Each essay and journal entry would have a different prompt, goal, or objective that corresponded with a learning standard or essential question for that unit. The unit projects and presentations allow students to be more creative, expressive, and to incorporate their interests (photos, videos, etc.). Not all students learn or can express their knowledge in the same way. Having different assessment components to the final grade allows students to express their understanding in the way that is most beneficial to them. Ultimately, students who understand the material will be able to complete the assignments and meet all of the requirements. b. Component weights i. Final unit projects30% 1. In the final unit projects students are able to demonstrate their comprehension of the material. Because the final projects require more effort and time, they are weighted more. ii. In-class essays/quizzes (timed) and take home essays30% 1. In-class essays and quizzes require students to keep up with the homework and reading for the course. Take home essays give students time to work out their ideas and revise their work. Composition is extremely important; no English class is effective without integrating writing into the course. iii. Oral presentations10% 1. Part of the skills students need to acquire by the end of freshmen year is public speaking. I understand that most students are not comfortable presenting in front of large groups; hence, this part of the final grade is not heavily weighted. iv. Daily journal entries20% 1. These are the best way for me as a teacher to get immediate feedback of what students are and do not understand. Daily journals give students the opportunity to informally express their ideas and challenge their understanding. v. Participation total 10% 1. Attendance2% a. This includes preparedness (having all materials, etc.) 2. Class discussion2% 3. Attitude2% 4. Effort2% 5. Improvement2% a. These are grade boosters. As an alternative to offering extra credit at the semester, these components are easy things that students can do daily to help their grade (and their overall understanding). If students are

in class, prepared for class discussion (by doing the homework), are respectful, etc. they have no reason to not get the full 10%. 3) Grading approach a. I believe that each student has the possibility of improvement and the capacity to learn. I want my grading to reflect that belief. Therefore, I would use a Criterion-Referenced Model, with which I would compare an individual students work with the specific standard of work (determined by meeting requirements on a rubric). Part II: Motivation and Academic Performance I am afraid that with a pay-for-performance reward system for students who receive high scores on district-wide exams does not truly motivate students to learn. Learning is most effective when motivation is incorporated while students learn, not after the assessment. Motivation needs to be based on meeting particular goals centered on mastery and learning, not just performance. The extrinsic motivation of money may get some students to take the tests more seriously so they can get the money, but it does not motivate the students to truly learn the material. To truly motivate students, the information needs to be made meaningful and the students need to have a stake in the final goal. When motivation is intrinsic, focused on mastery and learning the material, students learn more and are more success-oriented. This system does not take into account students who may not perform well on those types of tests, testing bias, etc. These students are no less motivated and learned the material just the same as their peers and need to be rewarded as such. Instead of a pay-for-performance reward system that rewards only test scores, schools should look into smaller rewards that could be implemented throughout the learning process. For example, if a student has perfect attendance, is prepared for class, and has gotten at least a B on all homework for that week/month/unit, they receive some reward (a pizza party, extra credit, a free homework pass, etc.). Money, as used in a pay-for-performance system is not the most effective motivation for students to learn because it does not reward students during the learning process but much later. Part III: Communicating Student Performance to Parents Margaret performs very well in Science. On the ISAT test, she performed as well as or better than 91% of the students who took the test. In class, Margaret performs well on labs and tests, participates in class activities, and overall has a positive attitude. Margaret has shown improvement in her English journals and on her tests and exams. Her participation and effort in class is solid. This is reflected in the extended response portion of the Reading ISAT; she is able to read a passage and analyze what she has read using evidence from the text. However, she is still struggling with reading comprehension and vocabulary development, which is probably why she is performing below standards on the national tests. In Math, she is performing better than or as well as 72% of the students who took the ISAT, solidly meeting standards. In Social Studies, she needs to participate in class more and show more effort and possibly come in for extra help to study for tests. Obviously she is motivated because she is showing improvement in all her classes. We would want to see her grades in English and Social Studies improve, which is something took work on for next semester.