Saturday, February 22, 2014

Standards Based Grading - Mechanics

In this post I'd like to show you how I am currently assessing using SBG and then how I'm having the students record it.

I'm using a scale from 5 to 10 to record, since I feel like those scores translate in a gradebook to the typical letter grade I think each level deserves. I do use half points if I feel like they are squarely between two levels.

To me:

10 - Perfect performance
9 - Making minor errors either in mechanics or notation
8 - Making a significant mistake repeatedly that shows a gap in knowledge
7 - Making progress, but has many gaps
6- At least knows how to start a problem
5 - Blank or unrelated answers

What I really like about scoring this way is that my lower students can see that they are making progress in some areas, instead of just marking things wrong or doing partial credit - I can summarize what their main errors are and work with them to fix it. But, I also love what it does for my higher students. I teach 9th graders and a lot of them are used to coasting in middle school and always getting A's on tests because they were at the top of the curve and got extra credit. However, this method of grading forces them to see where they need to improve (and that these areas do exist - they aren't perfect!). And, many of them are committed to getting the higher score they are used to - so I think this challenges and helps all levels of students.

Test Structure and Grade Reporting
Usually my tests have around 5 objectives I am assessing. At the top of the test I have a place to record all of the scores for each section. I also indicate the score for the section at the top of the page with the respective problems

Recording Scores in the INB
When I return the tests to students, I've created a recording sheet in excel. I have them color in red from a 5-7.5, yellow from 7.5-8.5 and green from 8.5-10. 
Students then graph their results as a line. There is room for them to graph at least three assessments of each objective. I'm hoping this will be a tool for them to see how they are improving. I like the colors since it helps them know if they really need to kick it into gear or if they are doing ok both overall and for each objective. 

Check out my post on how I re-mediate students and provide them with targeted practice. 

This is my first semester doing the whole course's tests with SBG so I am definitely still in the experimenting stage!


  1. I'd love to know more about SBG. Do you have more information you could share, possibly some examples I could see?

  2. Sorry, I forgot to give you my email address in case you are willing to share ideas. I have a gmail account at math.jules @ gmail .com

    Thanks for your help!