Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Our Grading Guidelines


Grading is always a tricky issue for teachers — and students. I’ve written about it, as well as guests, in one of my Education Week columns, Several Kinds Of Grading Systems.  The primary guide I use is whatever “will move students forward.”  As a teacher said in our school’s staff meeting last night, I don’t want to be a “gate-keeper.”  Instead, I want to be a coach/encourager.

Katie Hull Sypnieski and I also wrote about it in our book, The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide.

Katie adapted it for use in most of our ESL and mainstream classes, and I thought I’d share it here. You can download the hand-out we give students, and I’ve also reprinted it below. Any feedback is welcome, including hearing how you handle grades and suggestions on how we can do what we do better:

Grading Guidelines

35%– Product Criteria (quality of student work)

  • Daily Assignments
  • Homework
  • Essays/Projects

35%– Process Criteria (how students do their work)

  • Collaboration/working with other students and teacher
  • Daily participation and effort
  • Daily attendance
  • Perseverance and grit

30%–Progress Criteria (evidence that students are progressing)

  • Academic language development
  • Demonstrated growth in reading fluency and comprehension
  • Demonstrated growth in writing proficiency


Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Appreciate perspectives on assessment – the staff at my school have an very long relationship with strategies and processes related to how we make statements of achievement on student work.

    When my school was first built, the staff agreed on a philosophy of assessment and reporting that included student voice. Being a middle school, it was easier than a high school, perhaps, to eschew percentage grades and weightings in favor of rubric assessments and criteria-based statements of achievement.

    I am 2 posts shy of describing the essence of our philosophy and practice at would love to hear any reacts or responses to how we handle assessment without percents.

  2. Pingback: How do you grade your students’ work? |

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