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How did kids refer to good grades these days?

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I'm working on a book with 5th graders. My MC has great grades, but I'm not sure how to express this. Kids don't get A's B's or C's anymore.  (At least not where we live.) Our kids get a grade of 1-4, 4 being exceeds grade expectations. So how do kids these days say they're getting top grades? It's not like kids are saying, dude, I got straight 4's.  What's it like where you live?
#1 - January 22, 2015, 08:37 AM
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I suspect that for gradeschool you could make up your own grading scale/definition. At that age, I got "all E's" for Excellent. (Well, in everything but PE, for which I got an A, Acceptable.)
#2 - January 22, 2015, 09:34 AM

Do you think I could get away with saying "Straight A's" today?

I imagine I didn't get much better than an acceptable in PE. There were actually days in high school, especially, where I skipped school because of PE. The day we had to run a mile?  No thanks. I think my mom let me stay home. :) And don't get me started on swimming days....
#3 - January 22, 2015, 09:37 AM
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Most of the schools my kids have been to (SC/MI/AR/ID/ND) have something like "below grade level" "at grade level" and "exceeds grade level." Satisfactory or advanced. Something like that. You're right, they've really backed off giving the kids letter or number grades--the focus is more on, have you met the state-mandated standards? I think here there is just a column, and all the definitions are very upbeat, like if they're emerging on that standard, or have mastered it. (If nothing is checked, they haven't gotten that far in school yet, and it hasn't been assessed.)

I suspect that you could make up your own terms, as long as you use that general idea that you described. (Or, put 5th grade in middle school--if you do that, you can give them letter grades.)
#4 - January 22, 2015, 09:41 AM

(Or, put 5th grade in middle school--if you do that, you can give them letter grades.)

That was going to be my next suggestion. :)
#5 - January 22, 2015, 09:45 AM

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We have the 4-point scale at my school, and I do hear kids saying "I got all 4's!" (Not very many kids could say that, though--in my experience it's less common to get a 4 than to get an A. When I was in school you could get an A for doing an excellent job on grade-level work, but a 4 is supposed to be only for work that goes above and beyond grade-level assignments.)

I know in our district the middle school still uses letter grades, so the fifth grade teachers do try to prepare kids for how letter grades work and what they mean. I think most kids would still understand what it means to be a straight-A student.
#6 - January 22, 2015, 09:50 AM

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We still do A's, B's, and so on! All the way from 6th grade through 12th.
#7 - January 22, 2015, 09:53 AM
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Thanks, everyone. She has to be in 5th grade for this book.  Sounds like maybe I can squeak by using all A's. She's at a private school, so that could account for a different grading system, too, compared to what readers may have.
#8 - January 22, 2015, 10:07 AM
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I think all As or straight As works for 5th graders. My child's school also has an Honor Roll for all As and Bs and a Principal's List for all As -- maybe something like that would fit in your context?
#9 - January 22, 2015, 11:29 AM
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My kids' school starts some letter grades for certain subjects  in 4th and has mostly all letter grades by 5th. You could say all As or straight As -- there are enough school districts that grade with letters.
#10 - January 22, 2015, 11:33 AM
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Great, thanks for the input everyone. I was under the impression all elementary schools had dumped the letter grading system.
#11 - January 22, 2015, 11:38 AM
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Our elementary school still uses letter grades for all subjects from 3rd and up. I think it would definitely work for 5th grade!  :yup
#12 - January 22, 2015, 12:15 PM

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We still have ABCDF all the way through from first grade to twelfth, except for special, pull-out classes in elementary school. Those classes use ESNU.
#13 - January 23, 2015, 04:48 AM
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We had the number system in 5th and it was sooooo stupid. I'd go with letter grades, which I think kids relate to more anyway. My son is now in sixth grade and the letter grades mean so much more to him than the 1,2,3,4 thing.

#14 - January 23, 2015, 07:10 AM

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We use the number 1-4 until fifth grade. After that, we use percents that actually mean something. The kids say whatever the parents say. All fours works, but not every reader will get that. I'd go with letter grades.
#15 - January 26, 2015, 07:37 AM
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I'm going to do letters.  Thanks so much everyone.
#16 - January 26, 2015, 07:40 AM
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