There are two different grading options, based on what the grading program will allow me to use.
The first gives feedback in the following categories: participation, understanding and demonstration with the proficiency levels being not applying, beginning to apply, developing, independent. Here is how I interpret those terms: Participation - singing/playing with others in the class; Understanding - answers a question; Demonstrating - solo performance; Not applying - not participating in any way; Beginning to apply - very wrong answer/ inaccurate performance; Developing - close answer/ good performance; Independent - correct answer/ model performance.
The second grading option I have is to give an Outstanding, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory designation. I use Unsatisfactory to denote a lack of meaningful participation, Satisfactory as participating in class at an average level and Outstanding to denote above average participation.
Each grade is based on that quarter's activities and is not culumative.