Grading tests and math homework

A few days ago I got a question from Jennifer concerning GRADING a child's math work, and I think it's a good question!
How do recommend that parents grade when using Math Mammoth? Should I score every assignment? Or just tests? Before we pulled our children out of public school, only tests were being counted for their grade. What do you recommend? Thanks

Jennifer

I don't actually give any exact grading recommendations regarding Math Mammoth but leave it up to parents/teachers. I do include a grading rubric for the tests, but that's all.

Personally, I feel that grading needs to be such that it doesn't discourage the child. It really depends on the child. Some children are better off without any scores but just feedback on where they need to work more, how to fix errors, etc.

All grading probably should be accompanied with notes like "You worked hard and I appreciate that!" "Here you show you've learned this topic and worked hard in it." etc. so that the emphasis is on the hard work, appreciating that, praising the work, giving feedback on specifics, and not on the actual percent score.

On the other hand, if a child is getting a "big head" (too proud) over their accomplishments, you could find a really hard test so they can learn they have room to improve. But this is not nearly as common than the opposite side where children are discouraged and think they "can't do math".

I would definitely NOT grade any of the day-to-day work with percent scores or letter grades.  Of course you need to find where the child made an error, but that should be sufficient.

Also, when when you assign a final mark for a whole grade, don't look ONLY at the tests but also the overall accomplishments, work, etc. I like to give children assignments outside of tests that count towards the final mark. In math, it could be a neatly written solution to a hard word problem, for example. Or, a set of definitions for geometry terms accompanied by drawings. It could be a description or exact instructions for a math game (tying in with writing/ language arts). Those can then go to their portfolio if you use such.

Most children in our society tend to get the idea that math is about "speed" and getting correct answers, and thus math test scores become really important to them. We need to discourage that line of thinking.

See also
http://homeschoolmath.blogspot.com/2013/09/timed-tests-and-how-it-damages-students.html

Hope this helps!

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