There, I said it. I have slandered the traditional grading system.
Listening to educators like Rick Wormeli discuss how a zero on a student's assignment destroys the student's average on the 100-point scale when the 100-point scale is so heavily weighted on the bottom confirms my discontent with the system. My district uses the following grading scale for marking period grades and assignment percentages in addition to a points-based grading method:
A = 100-92
B = 91-83
C = 82-74
D = 73-70
F = 69-0
Students earn points for completing assignments and their marking period grade is calculated by dividing the number of points earned by the total points possible and then converting the decimal to a percentage on the 100-point scale. Some teachers will also weigh specific assignment types which complicate the grade calculation.
How is completing 70% of something almost failing? When does someone do zero work? And what really is the difference between 98% and 97% or 82% and 83% overall? How can educators accurately assess and symbolize student performance?
The SBL Mini PLN Voxer group discussed some of these issues in a Google Hangout today....
All of this has me thinking about HOW to manage and assess via a standards-based model. My experience with tracking SBL/SBG is limited. I've written up specific lessons, benchmark assessments, and culminating assessments that are tagged with Common Core ELA Standards, and I've created a 12-week SBL curriculum unit for my most recent graduate class. When my students read via Curriculet, questions are tagged with specific Common Core ELA Standards. I also have students complete Edmodo Snapshots that target specific ELA Common Core Standards.
|This is a 12-week standards based unit plan I created based on the theme of leadership and legacy.|
From a lesson and unit planning standpoint, I'm good, but I lack a method for tracking student progress via the standards throughout the marking period and school year. I use Edmodo's Progress area to track assignments turn in via Edmodo as a working-gradebook with some of the assignment scores transferred to my district gradebook. While the Edmodo Progress area is sufficient for managing online assignments, I don't have one spot where I can collate alignment with the standards. I want to create some sort of Google Form and Spreadsheet to track the standards assessed because I don't want to put the formative data in my district gradebook. I'd like the standards-based data to guide me in lesson planning and authentically assessing students' skills. The spreadsheet should provide me with a big picture view of student performance and assignments.
I also wonder about using a specific rubric for standards-based assignments. Hassan, Amanda, and others assess using a 4-point rubric:
4 = Exemplary
3 = Proficient
2 = Approaches the Standard
1 = Does not meet standard
This scaled rubric is similar to my OSU rubric:
O = Outstanding 100%
S = Satisfactory 87%
U = Unsatisfactory 74%
I do not give half scores: students are outstanding or they are not. I will not enable students with a false sense of accomplishment by protecting their egos with a S+.
When the 4 point rubric is used for a culminating PASS/FAIL grade for the marking period, it is easy to use this rubric for each standards-based assignment, but when I try to fit this into a numeric-points-grading system that my district uses, I'm stumped. I could use the 4 point or OSU rubrics to track formative learning. Formative assessment shouldn't be put in the summative gradebook, but I do need a way to track student progress and monitor their performance overall. I'm also thinking about how I can modify my peer evaluation rubrics for standards-based grading. I want a way to see the big picture of standards based learning in one spot.
If you have any ideas on how to manage the collection of data for standards-based learning or have a template you wouldn't mind sharing, please share in the comments!