Thursday, June 02, 2011

Time to Tweak!

Now that the year is just about done, it's time to think about what changes I want to make to Standards-Based Grading in my classroom. I am generally pleased how it went. Here is the sheet I handed out at the beginning of the year:

Grading Info 2010-2011

I did mostly stick to what I said I would do. Things I didn't do -
  • I got away from the quizzes. I have never been much of a quiz person (don't know why)  and I really struggled with this.
  • With my Advanced Algebra 2 (and some Calculus) students, they were good about getting help before reassessing. Algebra 2 and the few Math 1 students who reassessed didn't. More about this later.
  • I allowed students in the same class to tutor each other. That worked out okay. I should have reinforced this more with the tutor form.
  • I did not have students show me the additional practice they did to prepare.
  • Google form didn't work out as I hoped.
  • I didn't enforce 24 hours before reassessing - I used one school day and that seemed to work out okay.
Here's my lists of likes and dislikes:

  • Grading is easier and generally less time consuming
  • With most of my Advanced Algebra 2 students, I felt they truly tried to learn the concept before reassessing.
  • After the initial "what I extra credit can I do" during the first nine weeks, students didn't bother me with "what can I do to bring up my grade" very much. They knew they had to reassess.
  • Student grades reflect what they know and are not artificially padded with extra points.
  • Students could reasonably bring up their grade - there wasn't as much "hopelessness" about their grades and I think that kept students willing to try, especially when we changed concept areas.
  • Right now I am really not happy with the number of students who asked to reassess for tomorrow (my deadline for reassessments). We had tests in 3 of my 5 classes and I have a HUGE list of students who are reassessing tomorrow. I want to yell at them (not that I would yell) "Why didn't you learn it for the test yesterday????" This is really more at my Algebra 2 students - many of whom did poorly on their 2 concept assessment yesterday and it is painfully obvious that they blew off the last week and a half. My Advanced Algebra 2 students who are reassessing seem to be more towards trying to show me that they know it better than they demonstrated on the test, but again, I sense there is some point grubbing/grabbing going on here.
  • My Math 1 and Algebra 2 students did not take advantage of reassessing much at all. I only had 4 Math 1 students who reassessed during the course of the year (these students reassessed multiple times). Maybe 1/4 or as much as 1/3 of my Algebra 2 students reassessed during the year (and I have a few who are now reassessing for the very first time tomorrow).
  • Calculus and Advanced Algebra 2 students still seem to be grade conscious rather than learning conscious at times.
  • Students didn't do well on midterm exams and I'm not hopeful for final exams either (especially since many of them think we were done about 2 weeks ago).
At the end of my day, I complained on twitter and these are some of the thoughts that caught my attention (as well as some other things I am considering):
  • @dandersod - two reassessments per day, two days of possible reassessments per week.
  • @mctownsley - build re-assessments into req’d assessments for all students, based on standards majority of students still need to learn.
  • @arundquist - I've been thinking a lot about this too. For me, they needed a 3/4 by a particular date to be able to reassess. helped a little
  • @kaminskiterry - We r planning on only letting our students reassess on a given number of outcomes. Let's say 25. Once hit 25 they are done. Reason for this is we want students to focus on "learning outcomes" not just boosting grade. Want them to focus on most important. We only let them reassess an outcome once. We want them to really prepare before they reassess.
  • @druinok - we allow reassessments on certain days only and can only reassess one quiz per session. another issue is the time frame - I stopped my assessments about 1.5 weeks before the end of the grading period
  • @21stcenturychem - I dealt with that as well. My one-a-day rule helped a little (one topic, once per day, with one day's notice).
  • @MathBratt - I started doing a "last chance" reassessment for students. I make a test of all the LTs. Ss tell me which they wnt 2 do. I highlight them. do it toward the end of the grading period. Not perfect but it helped a bit.
  • Instead of students doing the tutor form, I am considering having them do an error analysis of their test and have them submit that to me before allowing a reassessment. This article got me thinking about it. I have never done a good job of going back over their tests with them and although I don't want to spend a whole lot of time on it in class, I do think it's important enough to spend some time on it so they can learn how to figure out what they are doing wrong.
  • I have mentioned earlier, I think I am going to do a system similar to Dan Meyer and Kate Nowak's where each skill is assessed twice.
So, that's where I'm at right now. Once the dust has cleared from the school year, I am going to revamp my version of SBG first thing. I want to have it squared away while the year is fresh in memory.

What changes do you like (and why)? Do you have other changes to suggest? I look forward to your comments.


Kate Nowak said...

Just wondering how enforcement of "The student must have completed the practice problems for the concept prior to the unit test." went? So if they didn't do the practice problems when they were assigned, they forfeit the ability to ever re-assess on it? How did that work out for you?

Lisa said...

It didn't work - I failed on checking it. Pure forgetfulness on my part at the beginning of all this. I was overwhelmed with the whole thing and totally forgot about it. I will enforce that next year as a part of the changes.

Part of what I am struggling with at the moment also is how to keep track of whatever I require them to do to reassess. I suppose I should come up with a form for students to pick up if they want to reassess and on right on the form have whatever I am going to require of them to do.

Still thinking through and working through it all. Thanks Kate for reminding me about the practice problems.

Anonymous said...

Lisa -

I am going to be inplementing SBG into my math classroom starting Fall 2011. My main concern is how do I transfer a student's scores for all of the standards into the traditional "A, B, C, D, or F" at the end of the quarter, semester, and even the end of the year?

My school is not going to let me just say that a student is proficient in so and so standards and not proficient in such and such standards.

Anything you have seen or do in your classroom that seems to work with this issue?

Lisa said...

What I did was translate each score (which I had done out of 5) to a score out of 10 (a 0 became a 5/10, 1, 6/10, etc. up to a 5 became a 10/10). Those scores out of 10 are what I put in my gradebook. Each skill was weighted the same and contributed equally to a student's grade. It seemed to work pretty well. Passing for us is 66% (C started at 75%, B at 85%, A at 93%) and I felt my grades pretty accurately reflected each student's knowledge.

It's also explained in the scribd document up above.

Hope that helps - Lisa