Monday, September 6, 2010

Standards-Based Grading Gala #2

Welcome to the September 6, 2010 edition of standards-based grading gala. This time we have 25 posts. We've got some veterans from last time and a few new faces. We'll start off with some words from Lorna Earl:
Assessment as learning requires the involvement of both students and parents. It is not a private activity for teachers, and certainly not a process that governments can control. It is a personal, iterative, and evolving conversation....(Assessment as Learning, p. 45)
To continue our conversation we're starting off with Dan Goldner who presents Inquiry standards for math posted at Work in Pencil. He figures science shouldn't get to have all the fun.

Surani Joshua presents Standards-Based Grading: Year 2 posted at Sines of Learning, saying, "The who, what, when, where, how and why of my second year teaching - and first year implementing SBG."

Cliff Pate presents My First Shot at Standards Based Grading posted at Eight where he describes his steps for implementation of standards-based grading.

Lisa Henry presents Grading Explanations posted at An "Old Math Dog" Learning New Tricks, saying, "This is a copy of my student/parent explanation of how I am implementing SBG in my classroom."

Ms. Miller presents My SBG Pitch posted at Take It To The Limit, saying, "This post summarizes the problems I have with standard grading and what I hope to achieve with SBG."

Raymond Johnson presents 2004-2006: My Adventures in Standards-Based Grading (And Why I Stopped) posted at His story of having to work in isolation (and why that's not as true anymore) applies to all of us.

Stephen Lazar presents Bump and Space: Reporting Letter Grades from Standards Based Assessments posted at Outside the Cave.

Geoff Schmit presents I Like Reading Lab Reports posted at Pedagogue Padawan describing his shift away from grading lab reports and towards reading them.

Ashli Black presents "A tale of my dog, cars, sbg, and how I use assessment to help my students recover from mathematical hit-and-runs." in How My Dog Learned Fear and How I'm Driving It Back posted at Learning to Fold

Jerrid Kruse presents Grading homework-a waste of time? « Teaching as a dynamic activity posted at Teaching as a dynamic activity, saying, "Not directly tied to SBG, but when we ask critical questions about homework, we raise questions about what exactly we want students to get out of school...leading to a stronger rationale for SBG."

Jami Danielle presents Why Bother? My SBG Manifesto posted at Undefined.

Barbara Gajda presents The straw that broke the camel's back posted at Large Q Quality.

Sam Shah tells us about getting over one of his big fears in transitioning to a standards-based system in Something I Realized About Myself and SBG at Continuous Everywhere But Differentiable Nowhere.

Stephen Davis presents Students Get to Their Destinations posted at Rush the Iceberg, saying, "The purpose of my post is to remind educators that our students will get to their destination no matter what form of assessment a teacher uses..."

No SBG discussion would be complete without Shawn Cornally who presents Standards-Based Grading: Shifts posted at Think Thank Thunk, saying, "What philosophical shifts must predate and implementation of SBG?"

Colin Graham presents Irrational numbers posted at Sine of the Times: Dividing the Universe by Zero, saying, "This is a reflection on the meaning (or lack of it) of applying grades which have been based on normalized percentages - without any indication of what students can or cannot do." You should also click through if you're curious about the UK system of grading.

park_star gives us Sometimes You Can Change Everything by Changing Nothing at Between Me and the Door where she tells us that if you're overwhelmed with overhauling your assessment system there's one thing you can do tomorrow—Stop marking exams, in fact, stop marking altogether.

Amanda Dean presents her reflections after two weeks of standards-based grading with Two Weeks In: SBG Thoughts on Praxis of Reflection.

Tyler Rice presents how he hopes to rid his class entirely of grades this year with a Grading moratorium posted at Wisdom Begins with Wonder

John Burk presents a few thoughts about how to change how students approach assessment with Assessment Prep posted at Quantum Progress.

Matt Townsley presents Standards-based grading in a non-math classroom posted at MeTA musings, asking, "What does standards-based grading look like in a non-math classroom?"

Ellena Bethea presents My Grading Policy v 2.0 at TEACHING | Chemistry describing her attempt to remove unhelpful grading practices from her assessment policy.

Frank Noschese presents SBG Free and Clear on Action-Reaction, a post about the freedoms that SBG provides.

Dan Anderson works through his sticking points with Standards Based Grading posted at A Recursive Process.

Finally, we present Ken Kozar. He doesn't have a blog but has shared his LHS 2.0 Grading Summary posted at LHS 2.0, saying, "We are a group of high school teachers (math, English, social studies, and science) who have the same students and are working collaboratively to incorportate SBG, PBL, Moodle, and 21st century tech tools to change the way teaching and learning occur at the high school level." Click "login as guest" to view the many resources he has shared.

I'm going to share an older post on using choice points in your class. I'd like to add a couple of updates. First, I'm still addicted to using the index cards. My kids tore through my first set so I got smarter and laminated, single-hole punched, and tied a string through them. Second, the index cards are excellent for starting a discussion. Just put up a series of choices and ask different people to defend their choices. Third, simply designing in choice points has been powerful. It's forced me to anticipate the errors students will have and actually take action.

Thanks for everything. Continue the conversation by passing these posts on to your friends and colleagues. Then submit a future post to the next edition of standards-based grading gala using our submission form.

I know there's some great assessment going on in the English, Social Studies, and primary grades. We need you for the next carnival!

Ellena Bethea has agreed to host the next SBG gala. Check her blog at a future date for more information. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.


  1. I second that - thanks Jason for hosting this gala. I am just embarking on my own SBG journey which is connected to an inquiry for my graduate diploma so all the links are incredible. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences.

  2. Hey Jason. I hear you were hanging out at Math Circle with my boyfriend the other night. Sorry I couldn't make it--had a cold. Next time.

  3. @Frank I'm expecting you to host one of these in the future. Perhaps after Ellena.

    @Michelle thanks a lot. I hope you find these helpful.

    @betweenthenumbers Definitely. The kids make it a little difficult to make every month but I'm planning on going as much as possible. We'll sit together and make cracks about bridges collapsing and people dying because someone couldn't do his times tables in his head (ask your boyfriend if that comment made no sense).

  4. Thanks for the wealth of links. I've been using for my standards-based gradebook, it was free, and I really like it!