Standards-Based Grading

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Standards-Based Grading (especially over on Think Thank Thunk), and I think I want to give it a try. Here are some of the things I think I want to do:

  • A 4-point scale stolen from Matt Townsley (I’m also stealing his term “Learning Target”)
  • My gradebook will have two categories, Learning Targets (100%) and Homework (ungraded). I’ll record homework as 0, 1, or 2, corresponding to no attempt, partially complete, or complete. That’s so that students, parents, and I will be able to see whether the student is trying to do the homework or not (I have a feeling this may prove beneficial if students are struggling).
  • Learning Target grades will change with more recent assessments (whether they be full-class and mandatory or individual and student-initiated).
  • Students may not have more than one reassessment per day, and they may not have a reassessment on the same day as they get help from me.

And here are some things I’m worried about.
  • Will the kids who need to do the homework actually do it?
  • How am I going to keep track of all the reassessments? I feel like it would be good to note who’s coming in for extra help or extra problems, as well as how many times a student has attempted a particular Learning Target. I think I need a really good system going in if I’m going to make this work.
  • What about grades at the end of each quarter? The most recently introduced concepts, some students will still be working to learn. I’m not sure how I will handle that as far as reporting their grades.

Both of those lists could probably be much longer, but it’s a start. If you have feedback or ideas for me, please share!

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  • Jason Buell  On June 26, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Found your blog via Frank Noschese on twitter. Glad to hear you’re working on grading. It’s a lot of work at first dealing with different issues, but it gets easier and then almost invisible. The homework question always comes up and I guess I need to address that in a longer post, but the short answer is you’ll be surprised. If you can help students understand the value of homework, not as points, but as an opportunity to practice then they’ll do it. It’s all in the framing.

    Keeping track: There’s a bunch of ways you can do that. If you have a computer in your room I know a teacher who has a google form and just has them sign up through there. That teacher might be David Cox (Questions?) but I can’t remember. It’s actually not that big of a mess as you’d think. Remember you’re not spending all night ticking off homework and worksheets anymore so you’ve got some time there.

    Good luck and keep blogging.

    • Amanda  On June 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      Hi Jason,

      Thanks for stopping by! I actually had a reply to your comment all typed out a couple of days ago, and then our power went out and I lost it. :p Been busy since then, but am back now!

      I hope you’re right about the homework. I think one thing that worries me is the student who hears (regardless of what I say), “You don’t have to do your homework because it won’t be graded,” and by the time he realizes that hey, maybe he SHOULD be doing it, he’s way behind conceptually. On the other hand, I’ve seen kids who get so behind on doing graded homework that they don’t even bother trying to catch up, so I guess the same thing could happen either way.

      Using a Google form sounds like a fabulous idea! My kids have laptops, so it should be pretty easy to implement that. I’ll have to see what I can come up with for that.

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