01 July 2016

Standards-based Grading: Making the Switch

Standards-based Grading: Making the Switch

Who needs a summer break right? I have been spending the early part of my summer break researching new methods and strategies to use in the classroom next year before I start summer school next week. One of the major modifications that I am making to my teaching practice will be the transition to a Standards-based Grading model. Each learning assessment will be based on a standard (or mastery objective) for that period (usually a day but it could be longer). Standards-based Grading allows for more regular and detailed feedback. It also fits in perfectly with both the Understanding by Design and Universal Design for Learning models of having a clear master objective to aim for rather than just the completion of an assessment. SBG also allows for a much flexible assessment process. Students will be allowed, and expected, to fix mistakes on their work to improve their mastery of the standard or skill. Time in class will be devoted to having the students re-do assignments until they reach the proficient level while students already at the proficient level can extend learning.

I still have a lot of research to do over the summer before I'm ready to really introduce Standards-based Grading into my curriculum but I have already created a super neat SBG grading scale that I will be using (In case you were wondering why the scale doesn't go down to 0, it's because I work in a district that has a 50% rule). I'm so excited to learn more about Standards-based Grading over the summer and believe in the efficacy of this practice. This might just change the education paradigm from that of grades-based compliant students into standards-based, intrinsically motivated and curious learners. If you have any experience with Standards-based Grading, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Standards-based Grading: Star Wars Style
If you haven't seen the video series by Rick Wormelli, I would HIGHLY recommend it for any teacher who is considering making the switch to Standards-based Grading. He explains SBG in an authentic, precise and easy to understand way. See the YouTube Playlist below for the videos.


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