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Biology curriculum

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I've recieved a lot of emails asking me how to assign grades for biology. Here's a sample of how you could break things down and assign grade percentages to total up a final biology grade. Having said that though, YOU have to decide the right grading system for your family. This is just what *I* did. Homeschool Tracker was great at doing all of the below for me automatically. I just told it how I want it to weight subject activities and it calculates everything out for me. There are lots of other homeschool grading programs that can help, or you can do it the old-fashioned way by hand!

Grading Scale: 

letter range
A+ 97-100
A 94-96
A- 90-93
B+ 87-89
B 84-86
B- 80-83
C+ 77-79
C 74-76
C- 70-73

 F 69 and below   (sorry, no D's!)

Grading Weights: 

Homeschool Tracker Grade Weights for Biology
Screenshot from Homeschool Tracker showing how I assigned grading weights for biology: The 2nd column is points possible. The 3rd column shows points earned. The 4th column shows the average. The 5th column shows the current letter grade. The 6th column shows the weighted value. This screenshot was taken after just the first week of our biology program but it shows you how Otter is earned his biology grade. Some things he did were totally ungraded and not reflected in the grade averages above.

Points for grades The picture to the left shows how Homeschool Tracker calculated Otter's grade. In this example there were 47 questions for him to answer in his workbook. He got 44 questions correct. His grade was 94%, an A.

Here's an online points possible calculator you can use.

Here's a breakdown of biology activities you can use to calculate your student's grade:

Classwork/Participation: 15% 

This percentage was based on Otter's participation and attitude during biology time for all assignments. I expected him not to whine or complain about any activity, not to dawdle and to answer questions I asked him during our read-aloud time or activities thoughfully and age-appropriately (no "I dunno" answers accepted). This grade includee any after the chapter question discussion questions (which we did verbally).

Workbook Pages: 25%

This grade was pretty straight forward. I did mark off for spelling errors as there is NO excuse for that since all of the words were right there in the text. Correct answers that are misspelled were counted as half off per answer.

Labs & Projects: 25%

Otter was graded on how well he followed instructions, lab reports, quality of work, etc.

Other Assignments (Reading, Writing, BrainPOP quizzes, Videos, etc.): 35%

This category included biology book reports, getting reading assignments done in a timely manner, BrainPOP quiz grades, watching and discussing videos, computer assignments, etc. Each item was graded according to quality of work, etc.

Tests & Quizzes: ??% - If you use any of the tests, you may want to assign this category a grade percentage.

I didn't create test for Guest Hollow, as the worksheets and other assignments met my needs for evaluation purposes.

If testing is an important option for you, you can use some of the workbook pages as tests to check for retention. Another idea: you can go through the textbook orally and ask questions to check for retention.

As homeschoolers we don't always need tests to gauge learning & retention because we are so closely involved in the teaching process. However, for those of you who are having your student(s) use this course in a more self-teaching manner, tests might be useful to really see if your students are paying attention and learning the material. Also, our kids need to learn how to study for tests before going off to college! It's important to find a balance.

I chose to emphasize tests in other subjects instead of biology.



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