This Past Year
For SY 2010-11, grading in AP was pretty traditional for me. I had three categories in my gradebook - Tests/Quizzes (65%), Assignments (20%), and Final Exam (15%). The Assignments Category contained pretty everything that wasn't a test or quiz. This included weekly AP MC practice, POWs (Problem of the Week AP problems), worksheets, labs, etc.
Tests and Quizzes
I already set up my Learning Targets (LTs) and provided them on my assignment sheets for each unit over this past year. (See Unit 3 HERE). I think each LT Quiz will cover 2-3 LTs. Where I struggle here is how to set up the LT Quiz. In Alg2, each LT has 3 problems (basic, average, and advanced levels), and I don't know how well that will work out with AP. I'm thinking maybe a MC question and then two FR questions. Of course, the layout will be different than the current Alg2 layout, allowing a question stem to be used for multiple LTs. I would still use a 4 point scale for each LT, like I do in Alg2. I think Unit Tests would pretty much stay the same as they are currently are, with a MC and a FR section, with the grade being a traditional test grade. This would allow the quizzes to be more skills based and assessed, whereas the tests would be more summative.
Remediation and Reassessment
This past year, students could retake a different form of a quiz *if* they provided proof of remediation, which was the practice problems on the assignment sheet for that chapter. They could also make test corrections if they did at least one problem from each objective on the assignment sheet. For the most part, I liked this plan. This next year, it would roughly stay the same, but to reassess a Learning Target, they would have to work the problems specific to that LT, rather than the entire chapter. For test corrections, they would still have to do at least one problem from each LT, PLUS have completed the Unit's Summary Sheets (see Unit 3 HERE)
Issues I need to figure out
- What percentage breakdown do I want to use for Tests, LT Quizzes, Assignments, and Final Exam? The Final is district mandated to be at least 15%.
- Actual AP questions often cover multiple topics. While I could edit them for the LT quizzes to only include the current objectives, I would like to have that cumulative element. This could be a reassessment opportunity, but with only one data point, how would I grade it on a rubric? Maybe those "mixed-bag" style questions should be on the summative tests, not the quizzes?
- What to do about the Assignments category? I could leave a small percentage of the grade devoted to this category. In Alg2, their grade is purely assessments, and all of their assignments are non-graded, feedback only. I'm not sure I'm ready to go there in AP just yet. I do see value in the items placed in this category, but would not want them in either assessment category since a lot of it is lab investigations, partner work, etc. The other issue with this category is anything that isn't done in class has the potential to not be turned in on time, which leads us down that "late work" rabbit hole.
- Should the tests be unit based (like they currently are), or time based (like every 6 weeks)? I like unit based tests because things seem so neatly packaged, but I worry that that last chapter being quizzed won't be graded/returned/processed/remediated/reassessed prior to the unit test date. I like the idea of every 6 weeks (covering LTs up to Chapter X), but worry it might feel awkward and not flow well, but theoretically would give that cumulative element needed in preparation for the AP exam in May.
- One of my biggest issues is that I'm a pretty slow grader in AP. With Alg2, I almost always had their quizzes back to them the next day, sometimes it took two days, but rarely more than that. With AP, there is so much reading that you have to do that it really bogs down the process.
I don't have the details all ironed out, but overall, I think this is a plan I can live with for a year while I refine it. I think this provides me the detail I want on the individual objectives while still maintaining the big picture/integrated structure needed in Statistics. Now that I've identified the big issues and concerns that I have, I think I will be able to work on strategies to fix those issues. As always, I appreciate any feedback and questions to help me guide my thinking.