Math Is Real Life: GRADES!

It’s the first Wednesday of February which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!! If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!
If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs – feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!


A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by
As I was thinking and thinking about what real world math topics have crossed my path over the last week or so I had a bunch of options.  Calories in.  Schedules.  Flight plans.  Minutes of sleep.  That being said–the BIGGEST thing on my mind has been the end of the quarter and GRADES.  As I am sure you can relate, grading is one of the most stressful use of “numbers” in our lives!  How can we take NUMBERS and make them represent hours and hours of work, observations, and thoughts about our students.  I’ve put together a few pictures to share some of my thoughts…
I am constantly struggling to find ways to record my “findings” on assessments…do I use a percentage?  A 4, 3, 2, 1?  Weeks later, will any of them really match what I saw on the paper?
I am constantly wondering how we will every get agreement on what a “4” really means?  What would it take to have enough examples in enough contexts that all teachers could really come to consensus on what a “4” is?
Admit it.  You think about it all the time.  There is so much data we collect–but so little that really impacts our teaching.  What kind of data helps us the most?  What “real world” grading numbers matter?
My son is a high school junior in a school with weighted grades.  He is a top student…taking AP calculus, AP physics, AP chemistry, and so on.  He also loves Spanish and wants to take it all four years of high school.  Because of this, he will not be able to be valedictorian in his class (not that we care) because another student is filling his schedule with one extra weighted class each semester while my son takes Spanish.  Is my son better off?  You bet.  What will his grade point average show?
If you teach, you have had issues with grades.  If you have children, you have probably had issues with grades!  If you went to school–you probably had issues with grades!  It’s just one example of “real life math” that probably DOESN’T have a right answer!  Thanks for stopping by…I need to go stuff my report card envelopes now!
Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below! Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!