I normally drop a daily grade at the end of the grading period. A few years ago I implemented something I call class points that correlates to the number of drop grades a class receives at the end of a grading period.
I made a poster that hangs at the front of my room that displays the class points.
This poster allows the student and me to keep track of their current points. I have had some fellow teachers tell me that the concept seems very “elementary,” but it works wonders for my classroom environment in the High School.
The Basics of my Class Points System:
- Each class starts the grading period with 2 class points. The goal is to keep all of your class points for the entire grading period.
- Class points are maintained as a class. The students are responsible for monitoring each other to keep their points.
- You can only lose points not gain them. The class can lose points for misbehaving for me or a substitute, being disrespectful to others, not returning the classroom to the way it was when they came in (I.E. not putting up their material like calculators), or not cleaning up properly after a lab. The beauty of this system is you can use it to reinforce any behavior you would like for your classroom.
- At the end of the grading period, the number of stars that remain on the poster for the class directly correlates to the number of daily grades I will drop. If your class does not have any stars left, then you do not get a dropped grade.
I continue to use this system because it holds students accountable for their actions and keeps me from constantly picking up after them. At the beginning of the year, I will remind the students for about a week to put up their materials and straighten the class or lab room. After that, my students take on this responsibility and remind each other to do these simple tasks at the end of the class. It’s a win-win for everybody.