Saturday, November 14, 2015

Standards Based Grading 2015-2016

We are now using Standards Based Grading in both Sophomore and Junior English classes. Since there are three teachers using it, there is input, help, and time to strategize in our PLC.

This is our new information sheet for parents and students.
It is very similar to the first one. We just re-arranged some items so it is easier to understand.

I have also been experimenting with ways to track my student data. I started this semester with notebooks where I kept notes on individual students. I still use my paper grade book, as well as the electronic grade book. This nine weeks I am trying to use the comments in my electronic grade book more. The notebooks are where I keep artifacts and details, like the grade sheets on papers or notes about concerns. Every student has their own page. My memory isn't as good as it used to be, so it helps to have some notes.

We have all discovered that Google Classroom is helpful for Quick Writes, Exit Tickets, Formatives, and even submitting essays. Socrative is also helpful for quick feedback on skills.

What have we learned?
1. Never evaluate too many standards on one test or essay. Five is now my maximum; otherwise, it gives me a major headache!
2. Our students have a more difficult time making the coveted "A" grade, but it is also harder for them to fail. (Most can demonstrate at least some understanding of a standard.)
3. Having interventions in place to re-teach is paramount. After a poor formative, individual students need tutoring time. Our school has put several interventions in place for this additional work, including a schedule that supports time for students in a tutoring center run by several teachers, paras, and National Honor Society students.

There are some things that haven't changed much. My grade book looks very similar to what it looked like a year ago when I started Standards Based Grading.

For final exams this year, the English teachers are thinking about having students pick the standard/standards that they most need to improve. They would develop a project that shows their mastery of the standard. I am in the process of developing some guidelines and ideas for those projects. Until I do that, I have a hard time envisioning the final product. My goal is to have the bulk of the work done on this before Thanksgiving.

And that gives you an idea of where we are on Standards Based Grading today.

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