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How should I go about grading Foerster’s Algebra I?

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Dear Carrie

We are starting our first year of high school, and this is brand new to me. So, I really appreciate the instructions Heart of Dakota has provided in the World Geography guide! I am still at a loss on how to grade Foerster’s Algebra I, and I appreciate any help you can give me!


“Ms. Please Help Me Grade Foerster’s Algebra I”

Dear “Ms. Please Help Me Grade Foerster’s Algebra I,”

At the high school level, the way that you weight your grades can vary widely. Almost any combination of daily work, reviews, and assessment will work. For example, you could use daily work as 50 percent of the grade or you could change that percentage up or down. As mentioned, daily work can just be earned by effort and completion (and correcting one’s mistakes). This is because quite often in daily work the material is new, and as students are trying to learn new concepts they often falter. So, using students’ first efforts at something new is not a true grade.

Options for Grading Chapter Reviews and Tests

Next, in considering how heavily to weight tests, at the high school level completion of chapter reviews often take up a portion of the assessment grade. So, I might lean toward 20 percent for chapter reviews and 30 percent for tests. Again, these percentages can be changed up or down.

Options for Grading Using Open-Book Testing Or Written Notes During Testing

Another option that is used with increasing frequency is for tests to be open-book. Or, instead you might allow your student to write down on an index card any helpful formulas or notes to be used during the test. This type of grading was something that was done in my college math classes. I learned to write very small!!

How Grading Is Weighted Within College Classes Varies Widely

Even at the college level, where tests are weighted much more heavily, there is quite a bit of variation as to how much other output students are required to complete for the rest of their score. Some courses are almost wholly test based, and others split the grade out more with a large amount of other output. My oldest sons’ college classes have varied widely in how things are weighted. It is often the instructor’s prerogative. Since you are the instructor, your prerogative reigns. You just need to be able to justify how you arrived at the grade.


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