After giving it some thought and consulting with several students on the sly, I've decided to change the way grades are calculated. The Work category, is now called the Skill Building Work (cheesy, but descriptive) category and has gone from 35% to 30%. The Papers category stays the same at 35% and the Timed Writes category shifts from 25% to 30%.
You might be thinking, "Hey! But I do better on my homework than my timed writes. Isn't that going to lower my grade?"
The answer is no, probably not, and here's the reason why. Your skill building work will be graded on a complete/incomplete/missing basis. So, if you complete all of the work, you will get full credit in that category. Potentially, you could end up with 100% for 30% of your grade. Nifty, eh?
"Uh, why are you doing this, Mr. Giddings?" Good question, thoughtful student.
In college your grades will often consist of a midterm, final, and a paper or two. I've been in classes that were based on as few as two graded assignments. Does that mean we didn't work? No way! We worked way harder than in high school, because if we didn't we'd do poorly on the few graded assignments we had. I'm moving this class a little bit in that direction. It will reward consistency as well as hard work and improvement. Do not let up on the quality of your daily work. As I promised at the beginning of the class, I won't assign you any busy work. Everything we do will either practice or test the skills we are developing for the AP test and for college.
Remind me to give you the rubrics for the Chesterfield paper tomorrow. Could someone pass copies along to the swimmers?