Grading Sheet For Seminary Teachers- The Red Headed Hostess

For all of you seminary teachers out there…  especially first year teachers… I remember struggling for years with how to properly grade my students!

How do you make it so they are pushed and try to achieve more without leaving students behind?  How do you truly make it so an “A” means something?  Not being too easy, and not being to difficult is a hard balance to find and I have changed my grading structure countless times over the years.

My least successful grading structure was when I just did Pass/Incomplete.  So no grades – just credit or no credit.  It was how the entire school was set up and I STRUGGLED to get my students to be accountable for their efforts in and out of seminary.  Now things have changed, and we have been given more grading guidelines which has been incredibly helpful… and rewarding.

Laying out reasonable expectations for the students will only benefit them and help motivate the majority of them.  I mean, I started studying my scriptures every day because of my 10th grade seminary teacher, and I have seen countless of my students change their study habits because they have to come to seminary every day and record it.

So… here is the new grade sheet for the year.  I don’t think you will be able to just print this off and use it since the calendar applies to my school district – but it may help give you ideas so you can make your own.


What you see here is one side of the grade sheet.  Here are a few things to help you get how this works:

1-  These are meant to be filled out and turned in by the students every single day.

2-  I have a student who is in charge of handing this out every day before the devotional so I never have to remember to pass them out, and a student will have a special job ( which I really like to do – I like every student to have some responsibility – in fact, I will do a post on that later).

3-  The students will fill out the majority of this card as they come into class.  There will be parts that need to be filled out during, and then at the end of class.  There will need to be a a little training on how to fill out this card at the beginning of the year – but they will catch on really quickly and be faster than you.

4-  After the closing prayer they pass their cards to the back of the class and the same student who passes them out will swoop them up and put them away.

5-  At the top of the grade sheet you can see some boxes that make up their grade chart.  Throughout the quarter the students will fill in the boxes, moving from right to left, as they gain more points and increase their grade.  Therefore, there should be no surprises at the end of the quarter and the students should now exactly where they stand all of the time.

6-  There are several ways to earn boxes in the grade chart…. for example:

7-  Scripture Reading.  You can see the calendar below the grade chart.  Our local board (the Stake Presidents) determined that they would like the students to read 15 minutes every day – so that is why you see 15 minutes there.  Therefore, the expectation is 15 minutes.  So, in the calendar they will record how many minutes they studied.  If they read 15, then they also get to fill in a box in the chart above.  At the end of the week, they will add up how many days they read as well as how many minutes they read.  For every 100 total minutes they read, they get another box.  This helps reward the students who study longer, as well as helps other students get some points who don’t quite get to 15 minutes some days.

8-  Old Testament Reading.  I haven’t filled this all in yet, but you can fill it in as you see fit.  There are 20 boxes here, and 4 total quarters.  Therefore, I need to divide the Old Testament reading into 80 total boxes and take the first 20 and put them in first quarter.  Make sense?  🙂  The student gets a point for every box they read, as well as another box if they read that block of scripture BEFORE we learn it in class.  I am going to make a BIG deal out of this to help facilitate them coming prepared with the lesson already read.

9.  So… if you have done the math – if a student reads 15 minutes every day AND reads all of the assigned OT blocks, they are already at 116 points and an A-.  Because they are AWESOME if they are that dedicated and the rest of their grade will come easy!

10.  I should note that the majority of the points are earned on the front page, so if a student really neglects their scripture reading they will not be able to get an A.   However, this goes with the grading policy as we are supposed to grade on reading.


11.  Here is the other side.  This is where they get graded on their Personal Effort in seminary.  Everything on here are principles that  fall within the Teaching Emphasis, and it could make a really interesting conversation with the students to see where they think they fall.  For example, you could ask them why it is important to have their scriptures and journal at their desk before the devotional – and then also have the bullet points from the teaching emphasis displayed – and ask them which ones that principle helps them fulfill.  Teaching and learning by the Spirit…. Creating an environment of love, respect and purpose… identifying principles and doctrines… etc.  Teaching the “why” behind the principles is important and has a big pay-off.

12.  Every day they will go through each principle, and if they fulfilled it to the best of their ability, they fill in a circle.  If they didn’t, they don’t and hopefully they can next time.  As the classes progress, they will begin to move from left to right across the page.  Whenever they get to (and fill in) a star, they earn another box on their grade chart.  I randomly arranged the stars so they will be able to fill in a box most days.  Also, I accounted for 20 boxes to be earned in this section; however, you will count 30 stars.  That is because if any of your students get to the end of the line – that means they were there every day (on a block schedule) and fulfilled those expectations every day – and I thought that was worth an extra credit point.

13.  If you teach early morning 5 days a week, you will need to change this part because you meet more often.  I see my students every other day for 90 minutes .

14.  Assignments and Tests.  I will use this throughout the quarter and make things worth 1 to 5 boxes.  For example, at the beginning of the year I will give them a couple of boxes for getting their personal scriptures there, some boxes when they get their scripture mastery scriptures marked, etc.  I also give quizes and doctrinal tests throughout the quarter which will go here.

15.  Scripture Mastery.  In this box they can write in verses they have passed off, activities and tests, etc.  It is pretty flexible.

There ya go!  I hope it all made sense!

I will attach both a PDF and a Word file if you want to change some things.  The Word file may open crazy on your computer… just a warning.

Here is the PDF:  Grade sheet first quarter 11-12

And the Word:  Grade sheet first quarter 11-12










  1. OH my goodness!!! I am passing out. Your scripture journals are blowing my mind. I might have to read your blog from the beginning, wowza. Jems, I tell you.

    Can’t wait to feast on it’s goodness.

    Thanks so much!


  2. You are AMAZING! I wish my kids had you for a seminary teacher. We aren’t actually old enough to be in seminary, but you sound like an AMAZING person/teacher! Thank you for sharing your ideas and for all of your hard work.

  3. What program do you use to make things like this? I am particularly interested in the charts and calendars from the grading sheet.

    1. Joey– I just use Word. I use the Table, Word Art, and Text Box functions to get those results. I think the things (like the calendar) that you are most interested in are Tables. 🙂

  4. Hi Shannon! This is wonderful! The “Word” link doesn’t work. Is there any way that can be fixed? I know you’re super busy, but the form is great and I just need to tweak it a tad to fit our class.
    Thanks! This website is super!

  5. You were right that the Word version might open crazy. If it can easily be tweaked so that the docx file itself can just be downloaded, I would find that very helpful.

    The grading sheet is a great idea. Thank you for sharing. Keep up the great work. You are making the world a better place.

  6. One question: Do you still have to “grade” them only on attendance to determine when someone gets “credit” for completing the year? My stake, which only has early morning seminary (no release time) does not grade students at all. They only keep track of attendance to determine who gets credit. Not only that, it is a very detailed attendance accounting: 5 points for being on time, 4 for up to 10 minutes late, and 3 for up to 20 minutes late. It takes attending every day and getting a 4 to “pass”. Your system seems to encourage students to participate – which seems much more important to me than just getting there on time. Just wondering if you have to keep track of attendance for credit purposes.

    1. Hi Mark- I have graded before on attendance only, and have found that it seems to fall short of helping them become really good students… not just there. The grading policy says that if they are there, then they pass. So, if you notice on my grade sheet, there isn’t an option to “fail” – if they come to seminary and that is it, then they will pass and get credit. It is the extra effort that gets them a letter grade. Also, since 80% attendance is required to get credit, then if they have too many absences, then their grade will be an “I” for incomplete, and then in the comments I will put how many days they have to do make up work to get the letter grade they earned.
      Does this make sense? I really like this system! 🙂

  7. To clarify some of the questions regarding Seminary grading, here’s the information from the Seminary handbook (Teaching the Gospel) and 2010 S&I policy manual:

    There are 3 portions of the Seminary grade: credit/attendance, conduct, and academic performance. (SIPM p 8)

    Credit/attendance – a student must attend 80% of classes to receive credit. “… credit for Seminary cannot be withheld if [the reading] requirement is not met.” (TTG p 9)

    Conduct – The report card should include a conduct grade as honorable, satisfactory, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory. (SIPM p 8) No criteria for grading this is given. It’s a local policy decision.

    Academic performance – “Criteria … could include scripture reading outside of class and participation in assignments, discussion, reviews, tests, and scripture mastery.” “Unauthorized absences during released-time seminary may reduce the grade. ” (SIPM p 8)

    There is no failing grade for Seminary. An “I’ or incomplete may be given if students fail to meet performance requirements (this refers to the conduct or teacher assessment portions of the grade). (TTG p 8)

    Pass/fail grades are for Institute courses only, by my reading. An institute student elects whether he or she wishes to recieve pass/fail instead of a letter grade. (TTG p 9)

    “Tardiness is not to be equated with absences. Seminary credit may be withheld, however, for flagrant tardiness.” (sIPM p 8) No definition of flagrant is given, again, it’s a local policy issue.


    In our area, the conduct grade is a self-assessment.

    I base my academic performance grade solely on completion of the reading assignments. 95% or more is an A. 25% or less gets an I. 70% or less is a D.

    I have an extra program (Jedi Scripture Master) for those who memorize the Scripture Mastery and I record it on their report cards, but it has no effect on grades. It’s just for the parents to see.

    I also report tardies (also not required) so parents will be aware. Our stake’s policy is more than 12 tardies is “flagrant” and requires makeup work for credit. I record early departures as tardies.

Leave a Reply