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Old 11-04-2012, 01:09 AM   #1
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Has anyone ever given grades for school work- in elementary?

My boys are in 1st and 3rd grade, and I'm struggling with our homeschooling. There are several issues I'm trying to fix, one of which is that my kids just aren't motivated to work hard on their schoolwork. The oldest one especially- he is so bright, but the quality of his work does not reflect that. He either messes around and runs out of time, or just doesn't work his hardest. (Example- he knows how to write wonderfully, but when he doesn't care, he does things like writing letters big, putting in random capital letters, etc.) I feel like the attitude is like "Oh it's just an assignment for mom, it doesn't matter that much."

So, the idea DH came up with is to start grading their assignments. My son is a perfectionist (like me!), and we think it would bother him to not get an A on everything. I made up a spreadsheet for me to fill out during the week that has all of his subjects listed on it, as well as a key to the grades (like A = all finished, great work!, B = pretty good, etc.). Then maybe at the end of the week there can be certain rewards if you get however many A's (or something like that).

If you've done something like this, do you have any tips? I'm desperate, and just trying to figure out how to motivate my kids! Thanks!

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Old 11-04-2012, 06:21 AM   #2
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I give grades. For dd1 the grade itself(A's get stickers) and how it makes her feel is motivation enough. It works really well for us. It has helped her slow down, check her work, put more thought into her writing, realize that one rushed assignment can bring her entire grade down, ect. She will eventually go to public school-and possibly college-so I feel these are very important things to learn now when she is still wants our input and figuring out who she is as a person.

Dd2 will officially get grades when she starts 1st but she already does 'practice test' (that she or dd1 make up) and wants a grade. While she does take her time and does her best 99% of the time already I will still give her grades b/c she loves knowing she did the work correctly and likes the positive reinforcement she recieves from a job well done


Eta-the only downfall is that with dd1(not sure if this will be the case with dd2 as well) if she really tried but didnt get an A then she acts disappointed and will say negative things about herself sometimes. After 2yrs she is getting a lot better but it has taken some work on my part to help her realize that as long as she does do her best then she should/needs to be proud of that and thats all we ask of her.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:22 AM   #3
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:24 PM   #4
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Re: Has anyone ever given grades for school work- in elementary?

maybe you could give a grade for effort and a grade for the competence of work...
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:08 PM   #5
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Re: Has anyone ever given grades for school work- in elementary?

Thank you my2sweets! That's exactly how I picture it working. Plus you're right, their whole life (well at least school/career) things will be performance-based.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:12 AM   #6
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Re: Has anyone ever given grades for school work- in elementary?

Whatever you do, make sure you make it clear to them the pathway for success. Perhaps a rubric may help? It is nice to have something concrete to refer to if there are questions about the grade. I found it helpful to have it accessible to students. There are resources online to help you create your own. Ones I've made for my own classrooms took into account effort, concepts, creative thinking, and class participation... among other things.

Good luck!
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:11 AM   #7
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Re: Has anyone ever given grades for school work- in elementary?

For careless or purposeful mistakes I think having them redo the work is very effective. IME, most kids will not want to do double the work, so they'll try harder the first time.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:11 AM   #8
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I don't know if grades would help.. I know when I was homeschooled, like a pp noted, getting a grade that was less than perfect was frustrating for me.

My mom eventually started a "correct to perfection" type of approach, which was very helpful in HS and college, since I was so used to checking my work and proof reading and checking again before submitting it. Like another pp said, double the work is not usually too appealing, so it teaches students to take their time and do quality work the first time around.

That's just my perspective as a student and (inexperienced) teacher - I haven't taught any of my own kiddos yet. Hope that helps!
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