Monday, April 14, 2008

Standards-Based Participation Grade??

Okay, so I know that in most classes, talking out of turn and/or not participating is solely a management issue, but in reviewing the standards for my Great Expectations PPT presentation for the start of next term, I had an idea. Famous last words, I know - that's why I'd like your thoughts on the matter, dear reader. :)

Listening, Speaking and Viewing

The student demonstrates an understanding of listening, speaking and viewing skills for a variety of purposes. The student watches and listens critically and responds appropriately to written and oral communication in a variety of genres and media. The student speaks in a way that guides the listener to understand important ideas.
I thought maybe starting next term I would give a daily LSV grade. It'd be worth 10 points, like most other daily grades (classwork or homework). They'd start out with a base of 8 points. Students who contribute to the day's instruction in an appropriate (raise hand and wait to be called on, or responding after being called on) and meaningful way get a +1 each time. Students who contribute in a way that is not appropriate get a -1. Contributions that are appropriate but not meaningful do not affect the student's grade. Students who receive a +3 or -3 in the same day, regardless of the overall daily grade, will receive a phone call home.

I hope this will encourage students to both follow the classroom guidelines and think about what they want to say before responding.

Your thoughts? ideas? suggestions?


Mrs. Chili said...

I love it.

I think that participation is a highly UNDERrated thing in the classroom - an engaged, critical, and expressive student body is CRUCIAL to a good lesson, and having them talking with each other (rather than having the teacher talking AT them) does more to foster learning than, I think, any other technique we can trot out! I may steal your objective for my next round of classes!

Clix said...

*blush* I'm honored! Wow! :D

The Vegas Art Guy said...

It can't hurt that is for sure! I may try it with my students...

cupcake said...

I'm with mrs. chili. I have a points bank for my students, sort of like yours, and I add or deduct points based on their participation and behavior. They use the points as extra credit toward quizzes, tests, and even term grades.

I try ANYTHING to get mine to participate in class discussions.

Mister Teacher said...

I usually talk about participation as if it is a grade -- "Everyone who is raising their hand and thinking about answers is probably going to get a 100 for their participation grade, unlike the people who are just sitting there, who will be getting 0." But that's really just to motivate them to contribute.
An idea I did have last week, and I'm going to try to implement this week is a "Participation Posse." I brought in my digital camera and took pictures of all of the kids, telling them that they could make any facial expression or pose that they wanted (as long as it wasn't obscene). I'm going to devote a bulletin board to putting up the pictures of the kids to participate in class all day long. If they sit there and act like brain-dead zombies, as they often do, their picture will not be up on the board. If they actively contribute to class discussion, do their homework, etc, their picture will be up on the board.
I have no idea how this will go. But I'm anxious to find out.

Jose said...

The comment right above mine is an awesome idea, but one I couldn't steal because it takes a lot of upkeep. Nonetheless, participation is an essential part of class, especially for pre-9th grade kids. It holds them accountable for how their behavior contributes or deters good discussion in the classroom. I'm with you, most definitely.

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