In my classroom Participation, Effort, and Preparation will take you just as far as any test, project, or quiz!
I created this Rubric so I can meet with students each month and TOGETHER we can rate their "PEP" in class. Each category gets a rating of Never/Rarely/Sometimes/Often/Always and a point value is assigned with a grading scale at the bottom. I always ask students to fill it out with the ratings they think they DESERVE before they meet with me and we choose the official graded ratings. You'll be amazed at how honest they can be....they KNOW when they need to do bettter! (grin)