I’m participating in the math blogging initiative and thankfully the list of writing prompts is not intimidating. I could write about how I chose the name for my blog—I am extremely curious and I want my students to be too. But I really want to talk about something else. Something that has piqued my curiosity.
Standards based grading. It’s what I want to implement this year and yet I need to do this within the limitations of our district’s percentage based gradebook reporting system. It appears my colleague from the other middle school and I will be the first in our district to implement it. I’ve been reading blogs and Marzano’s work all summer so I think I know what I’m getting into. But I need your feedback.
I have the formative and summative assessment pieces identified with the standards, I’ve created standards based student goal setting sheets (they can be found here), and I know how to score using the 4 point rubric. The hurdle is “How do I report grades based on Marzano’s 4 point scale and not freak out the students and parents?”
The following idea isn’t pure SBG, but it’s the best workaround for now.
If a teacher is “stuck” in a percentage based report card environment but wants to report standards based grades, Marzano offers a conversion chart:
Scale Score Percentage Score 4 100 3.5 95 3.0 90 2.5 80 2.0 70 1.5 65 1.0 60 Below 1.0 50
I plan to set up a weighted gradebook as follows:
- All formative “assessments” are 4 points, based on the scale.
- All summative assessments are 100 points.
The weights are:
- Formative: 0%
- Summative: 95%
- Practice: 5% (The practice piece is an FYI. It is incidental to what I am trying to accomplish.)
The formative category allows me to keep a running record on how each student is progressing towards mastery.
The summative grade is determined by the students’ current level of mastery based on the most recent formative.
Susie’s initial formative assessment for Standard 6G1 is a score of 2. In the gradebook I create an assignment “6G1—Area 1”. The assignment is “worth” 4 points and it is placed in the formative category with no weight. I then create an assignment for the summative category 6G1—Area. Since Susie’s first score is a 2, according to the conversion chart, I enter a grade of 70.
Four days later Susie takes another formative assessment on 6G1. This time she earns a score of 3. In the gradebook I create an assignment “6G1—Area 2,” assign it to the formative category with no weight and enter her score of 3. Since Susie is now at a 3, I overwrite the previous summative entry with a grade of 90.
At this point the gradebook entries are:
2 formative assessments for standard 6G1—Area 1 and Area 2
1 summative assessment for standard 6G1—Area
Plus any homework practice logged as completion
In effect there will be one summative for each standard plus at least 2-3 formatives for that standard. I know two to three formative assessments may not be enough for some students to demonstrate proficiency or mastery. If need be, they can arrange a time during homeroom or after school to “show what they know.”
In the end the 95% weighted summatives will be averaged and the 5% weighted practice is factored in to the students’ grade. Since the summatives all have the same 100 point score, no standard is “worth more” than another.
Do you think it will work? What’s your experience with SBG?