Step 1 A: Reflect on Your Grading


In the comment section below, take a moment to reflect upon and answer the two questions below:

1.  Where/When did you first learn how to determine student final grades?

2.  What support did you receive in that process?

Please also read through a sampling of your colleagues’ comments and reflect upon any similarities to or differences from your own experiences.


1,939 thoughts on “Step 1 A: Reflect on Your Grading

  1. San Fernando, Banuelos says:

    I learned on my own at first and then with the help of fellow teachers. I used Easy Grade pro as well.
    Like many of you, I used a point system based on a standard scale.


  2. San Fernando High - Mettlen says:

    I first learned about how to grade from my mentor teacher. she shared her syllabus with me and I used her grading procedures as my own my first year.

    Throughout the years, the support I have received has been from department members and discussions about common grading practices.


    • San Fernando High - Mettlen says:

      It seems like many of us have similar experiences, not having had much instruction in grading and receiving what we do know from a colleague.


  3. Andrea Smith says:

    Where/When did you first learn how to determine student final grades? I first learned from a friend who was a teacher. She showed me how to Calculate percentages with the points earned. I used traditional percentages i.e. 90/80/70/60/and below. These numbers related to the grades given. I also received a class on Assessment from the University and was given the Woodcock Johnson II &
    Brigance to implement for assessment for my Special Education students.


  4. laurenvaron says:

    My first year teaching, my team was given an excel spreadsheet by our lead teacher to use for grading. The excel sheet averaged the grades for each subject. We had many conversations about norming and grading individual assignments but not a lot in terms of overall grades for each reporting period.


  5. AmberK says:

    My first year teaching, a veteran teacher gave me Easy Gradebook Pro and this calculated the points and percentages for me. I did borrow syllabi and grading practices from other teachers in my department. From there, common sense told me to include factors such as effort to gauge the final grade. I didn’t receive any support or training, I knew the scales A-F and from there I figured it out.


  6. ericdavolt says:

    I learned from my own experience in high school and college. I gave assignments certain points and students had to earn points. The higher the number of points the higher the grade. I did use weighted grades but had a very wise parent respectfully advise me on how to change my grading system to make it more fair. I had no real support from anyone. It was just learn as you go. I’ve gotten better over the years. I’m more standards-based now.


  7. Alexandra Castro says:

    1. Where/When did you first learn how to determine student final grades? I learned by observing and listening to other veteran teachers. I also took a look at teachers grading books when I was a teacher assistant. When I became a teacher I learned from the district’s grading criteria in the report card. As I listened to other teachers in the room, there was no support at all , or it was minimal at our credentialing program. Our criteria for our grading system varies from classroom to classroom. I’m so glad that there is a PD on grading this year from the district so there will be more of a uniformity among teachers, and rubrics that will help students know where to improve on.

    2. What support did you receive in that process? I had minimal support in this area. I had to borrow ideas from other veteran teachers.


  8. Lucrecia Apanay says:

    When I started teaching, I had an emergency credential and no assistance. Being familiar with Excel, I created by own spreadsheet to record and calculate grades.


  9. Susan Enman says:

    1) learned how to grade from my mentor teacher during my student teaching. This was fairly consistent with how I was graded in school.
    2) I received support from my mentor teachers and other co-workers.



    During my credential program, I learned more about it during my final semester when I had to actually semi-run the classroom and my mentor teacher helped me figure out how to do it. When I got to my first teaching assignment, I was actually lucky to have a grade-level team that worked together and carved out time to work on grading during each grading period. Now, I work a lot with my department and ask a lot of other different teachers to see how I can improve my grading system.


  11. Cyrilly Bakewell says:

    1. I learned to use the 100 percent scale, and I sought the advice of veteran teachers. I have never felt entirely comfortable giving letter grades based on a 100 percent scale.

    2. I have not received any specific support around grading. I am glad to see that some teachers have received support in this area. The more I learn about the problems with grading practices,
    the more devoted I am to making a change!


  12. M. Seestedt says:

    I learned grading through my mentor teacher during my first couple of years teaching. In addition I learned through instructional coaches and by collaborating with my grade level. The support I have received has been by administration allowing PD time to collaborate in our grade level groups.
    Melanie Seestedt


  13. Sophia Kang says:

    1. Where/When did you first learn how to determine student final grades?
    I first learned how to determine student final grades by looking at other teachers’ ways of determining students grades. However, after having completed my first year teaching, I realized that I need to make that judgment for myself based on understanding of my students and community culture.

    2. What support did you receive in that process?
    I asked other teachers for their syllabus.

    After having read other teachers’ posts, I’m seeing that many others have also been influenced by a collaborative culture.



    Where/When did you first learn how to determine student final grades?
    The only formal training that I have attended on grading was many years ago. It was when we first switched to the 4,3,2,1 grading system. I was a 2nd grade teacher and LAUSD was experimenting with the idea of mandatory retention for 2nd graders not meeting grade level standards.
    The most valuable ideas about grading that I encountered have evolved through conversations with peers.


  15. Sonya Kinsey says:

    Where/When did you first learn how to determine student final grades?
    I learned how to determine student final grades by collaborating with my mentor teacher,
    during my first year. In later years, I had the support of instructional coaches and grade level
    collaborations on student grading.


  16. Sara A. says:

    Like many others, I didn’t learn how to determine grades in my credential program. I have been experimenting for the past few years based on what I’ve learned from colleagues and independent research. That’s how I learned about Mastery Learning/Grading. My struggle in implementing the philosophy of Mastery Learning/Grading has been with gradebook organization and student accountability.


  17. Brenda Casanova says:

    1. Where/When did you first learn how to determine student final grades?
    I first learned how to determine students’ final grades with my guiding teacher during my student teaching. She implemented Mastery Based grading into her curriculum and I was able to see some of how the process works.

    2. What support did you receive in that process?
    I was able to receive support in determining my students’ final grades from my guiding teacher and co-teacher during my student teaching. My guiding teacher answered questions for me and helped me understand how to look at students’ grades more holistically.


  18. ISELA DE LA TORRE says:

    I learned to grade when I was a District Intern, over 20 years ago. It was one class and we collaboratively looked at work samples and anchor papers to determine if our scoring was aligned, just the way we have done recently for CELDT and ELPAC assessment training.

    The support I received was mostly from my grade level colleagues and a mentor teacher that met with us to work on this practice. We were given time as a grade level to do this work. It was a great learning experience because grading became less subjective when we are able to do it all together and provide one another with feedback. This isn’t happening now, and I think this would be helpful at the school site so that we become proficient at aligning our grading with the Common Core Standards.


  19. Charlotte Zomer says:

    1) During my first year of teaching, a college showed me how to use the online gradebook. Then Schoology was introduced and we were trained on how to use that platform. Besides that, I was not given any instruction on how to determine final grades and copied what my colleagues were implementing.

    2) The only support I received was schoology training and an after school mastery grading training.

    After reading the other comments, I see a lot of similarities in the fact that we were not given explicit support for grading.


  20. I learned grading practices by asking other teachers at my school for ideas and suggestions.
    There was very little support especially since teachers are busy when grades are due so they helped me but it was brief.


  21. Brie-anna Molina says:

    1) I did not receive any formal training on grading and really had to figure it out for myself my first semester teaching. I used both Engrade and TeacherEase before Schoology became the standard for the district but I pretty much just followed a standard 100% grade scale.

    2) I have since worked with other teachers to get advice and support on how to calculate final grades. I have adjusted the point value of my assignments and assessments to adjust value as seems appropriate but I’m still not comfortable with the way my grading system reflects or communicates student learning.


  22. Jill Hagan says:

    1. Where/When did you first learn how to determine student final grades?
    I learned how to determine final grades from my mentor teacher, but mostly from looking at syllabi of other teachers at the schools I worked in. I would ask for the syllabi when I was hired. I also used EZ Grade Pro and used their grading policies.

    2. What support did you receive in that process?
    Not much. I think that we pretty much used weighted grading and went from there.


  23. Stefnie Evans says:

    1) Where and When? The first school where I taught had a school wide grading policy with some flexibility by department. The math department had an overall grading philosophy which allowed some room for individuality.

    2) The support that I received was initially from the department chair, and then during the year members of the department met with me, visited my classroom, invited me into theirs and discussed their evolution of grading and teaching practices.


  24. Angelique McNiff says:

    I learned based on what my teachers did when I was a student. We also spent 30 total minutes in a English Methods class (out of 18 weeks x 3 days a week x 1 hour a day) on grading essays and I then modified my grading points for each assignment until the basic percentages in overall grades came out roughly the same each year. I used Excel to record grades and then Gradekeeper and now Schoology LMS. Overall, not much has really changed.


  25. Shauna Segal says:

    I learned to determine student final grades from how I was graded as a student. Colleagues shared their electronic grade book (Easy Grade Pro) systems with me. I received support from colleagues in the sense that I followed the grading practices of master teachers.


  26. Rasheda Young says:

    1) During my first year of teaching, student work was evaluated via a rubric and scored as a group.

    2) A veteran teacher developed the rubric and led the grade level team through the grading process.


  27. Maria E. Guzman says:

    I am Maria Guzman and I first learned about grading when I was a teacher assistant and the teacher I worked for introduced me to the E-Z grader which gives percentages based on number of errors. Other than that, I had no other support or training.


  28. Geoff Kagel says:

    I knew how to average the points to get final grades, but I was never trained on it or asked questions about it. I was never informed about mastery grading.


  29. Rick Gough says:

    First learned about grading as a student. Then in a very generalized manner during credentialing. Then really learned on the job with assistance from mentor and teacher colleagues. It is clear this issue is/was a deficiency in credential programs.


  30. Brooke Morales says:

    1) I learned to grade from my own experience as a high school and college students. Almost all of my teachers used the 0-100 scale, and then I used the weighted scale that my fellow Grade 7 teacher uses in her classroom during my first year of teaching.

    2) I haven’t received much support at all. Most people tell me to do what I am most comfortable with, but don’t really guide me on what is best for student learning.


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