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2nd Edition

Susan Brookhart

Feb 2009, Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN13: 9780132217217
ISBN10: 013221721X
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Whatever his/her feeling about grades, nearly every teacher must give them. That's the rationale behind this straightforward text–helping prospective teachers to understand grading and learn to do it well. Grading, Second Edition continues to be the resource staying true to its original intent–to help current and future teachers begin to see themselves as competent graders. The text focuses on explaining how grades function in schools and schooling, and on developing skills in grading work and creating report cards. Based on current research and informed by the author's experience, the text is replete with detailed explanations, stories and illustrations, student work samples, sample report cards and other school artifacts, and references for further study. Readers will be introduced to the historical, social, legal, and psychological contexts of grading, and will obtain the necessary content and practice on how to grade individual units of student work and techniques for turning discrete grades into report-card marks. Every major section of the book concludes with a more comprehensive assignment that will help readers assess their knowledge of the major concepts and applications recently studied. Every chapter ends with a set of questions or exercises that serve as a self-assessment tools and a means to practice skill development. Organized into three major parts (Understanding Grading, Integrating Assessment and Instruction, and Combining Grades Into Marks for Report Cards), with the added encouragement of self-reflection at the onset and throughout, Grading, Second Edition fully prepares current teachers and those working toward that goal to refine and perfect a simple, yet compelling function in the process of school, grading. Grading, Second Edition is a perfect supplement for pre-service and current teachers, and for use in General K—12 Methods courses and courses in Tests and Measurements.


Chapter 1 Introduction

Why Grading

Purposes for Grading

Definitions of Terms


Self-Reflection: Now and Later

Chapter 2 Grading in Its Contexts

The Historical Context of Grading

Current Context of Grading

Social Context of Grading

Legal Context of Grading

Chapter 3 The Educational Psychology of Grading

Student Perceptions

Influence of Grading Practices on Motivation to Learn

Functions of Feedback to Students

The Classroom Assessment Environment


Chapter 4 Designing Assessments That Reflect Intentions for Learning

Matching Assessment and Instruction

Paper-and-Pencil Tests

Novel Applications are Required to Tap Higher Order Thinking

Performance Assessments

Scoring Is Part of the Match

Chapter 5 Deciding on the Bases for Grading

Formative and Summative Evaluation

Bases for Grading

Kinds of Grading Schemes

Assessment Versus Grading

Chapter 6 Providing Grades and Other Feedback to Students

Providing Informative Feedback

Student Involvement in Assessment

Grading Is a Skill

Grading Tests

Grading Projects, Term Papers, and Written Reports

Final Thoughts


Chapter 7 Grading Policies and Formats

Grades Should Reflect Achievement

Report Card Formats

Grading Policies

Grade-Point Averages

Self-Reflection Is Critical

Chapter 8 Developmental Concerns in Grading

Grading in Special Education

Grading in Early Childhood

Grading in Elementary and Secondary Classrooms

Chapter 9 Developing Skills at Combining Grades into Marks for Report Cards

Arriving at a Categorical Grade

Arriving at a Letter Grade via Rubrics

Arriving at a Letter Grade via Points

Electronic Methods: Gradebook Packages, Web-Based Systems

Chapter 10 Other Ways of Communicating About Student Achievement

Sending Work Home

A Communication Process



Parent-Teacher, Student-Teacher, or Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences

Appendix A Test Blueprints

Appendix B Do's and Don'ts for Writing Good Test Items

Appendix C Alternative Assessment Checklist

Appendix D Key for Sample Papers from Chapter 6

  • Numerous samples of K-12 students' work, ready for grading, provide hands-on practice in what the text is teaching–gives readers a genuine feel for assessing and comparing work, and creating a grading paradigm that's comfortable.
  • Writing that sounds like that of a teacher, as opposed to sounding overly dense or didactic, speaks to prospective teachers in a “voice” that's appealing and friendlywhich helps demystify the rationale for grading as well as the grading process.
  • Emphasis on self-reflection, evident throughout the material, especially at the outset, encourages future teachers to divest themselves of the “baggage” they carry in regard to grading–guides them on the road to developing a productive disposition toward the required task of grading.
  • A final chapter on alternative forms of communicating student achievement examines other ways of “assessing” performance, such as portfolios, narratives, parent-teacher conferences, etc., to give readers a broad-based repertoire of skills in the assessment arena.
  • A comprehensive assignmentafter each text section assists readers to gauge how well they've integrated major concepts from the previous chapters and allows for them to apply their understanding to exercises that reflect realistic educational situations.
  • A Key Concepts listat the start of each chapter sets the stage for chapter content by identifying for readers the core concepts covered in the chapter and presenting a focal point for student attention.
  • Questions and Practice Exercises after each chapter help readers assess their understanding of chapter content and constitute handy vehicles for developing practical grading skills.

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