Dr. Kathie F Nunley
teachers: You cannot be too clear when it comes to expectations.
Make sure your students (and their parents) are very clear on
what your expectations are for every assignment. One of the
biggest sources of frustration and fuel for argument is grade
confusion. Students need to know, going in, what your expectations
are. You as a teacher also need to know what your expectations
been in that position where we give an assignment only to be
grossly disappointed with the product turned in. We may say
to ourselves, "I don't know exactly what I wanted, but I do
know this is not it" Never put yourself or your students in
that position. Before you give an assignment, ask yourself,
"what do I expect to see?"
I may offer an assignment for students to make a poster on the
evolution of the plant kingdom and make that assignment worth
20 points. Does that mean that every poster turned in will be
worth 20 points? Of course not. So, what does a 20 point poster
look like? What does a 15 point poster look like? A 10 point
poster? At what point would the child get no credit? Write down
your answers. Try to be very specific. Avoid terms like "good"
or "creative". These are terms interpreted differently by everyone.
Creative may mean an original work not copied out of the textbook
or using ideas from more than one source. Good may mean that
it shows 7 different transitions or is in full color or makes
good use of white space or took a great deal of time to design.
your criteria. Share it with the students ahead of time. I make
criteria or "rubrics" for all the different types of assignments
I offer. I post those rubrics on the wall around the room, color
coded based on the assignment type.
want to do well. Tell them what you want and give them a fair
chance to do it. If they fall short, you have a much easier
time defending your grade to both them and their parent.