This article from Educational Leadership suggests that grading should be used as a way to guide students toward excellence and that one way to do that is to move from a point-based grading system to a standards-based grading system. Seven reasons for standards-based grading provide a rationale for making this significant change in your classroom.
Have you thought about how grading can actually be used to motivate your students and give them a sense of responsibility and ownership for their own learning? Rather than just grading the products that the students create, perhaps we should also be grading students on the process and their progress. The video also suggests the use of incompletes rather than zeroes as more of an indicator of student learning.
The School District in Sheridan County, WY created this handbook to demonstrate how to turn proficiency levels into rubrics and rubric scores into letter grades. The handbook contains rubric examples for particular classes and a section on how to use standards-based grading in the PowerTeacher grade book.
Always Formative is a blog that contains a wealth of links on standards-based grading practices. The first five links (creating topic scales, creating assessments, tracking progress, setting up the gradebook, and power user tips) are filled with processes and strategies for implementing standards-based grading in your classroom.
There is a good deal of research support for standards-based grading, including that is more accurately reflects what students know and are able to do. In this video, you will learn a tiny bit about this research, and investigate a comparison between traditional and standards-based grading. An interesting discussion ensues about "good" and "bad" grading practices.
This introductory video to standards-based grading first defines what standards-based grading is - definitely a departure from the grading that we experienced as students in K-12! There is a comparison to traditional grading and a discussion of the power of zero (along with a rationale for NEVER assigning a zero to student work, even if they do not submit it!).