Engnology

Reflections of Blending English and Technology in the Classroom

Our “Edventure” into Standard Based Grading

with one comment

Last year a couple teachers at BCLUW decided to implement Standard Based Grading (or a version of it)  in their classrooms. Over the past year and throughout the summer, a small group of staff members, including myself, continued the learning. During one of the early PD days this year, a meeting was held for all those interested in Standard Based Grading. The following is a glimpse into the information gained at the meeting in the form a of an email sent to all staff…

“Last Friday a group of us met in the library to discuss Standard Based Grading. Many of us are at different levels of implementation, some are implementing in multiple classes while others are considering a unit to try it out on. What we all agreed upon was that Standard Based Grading made sense to us as teachers and as parents. I am sure we will form some sort of weekly or biweekly meeting in the near future, but in the meantime, we wanted to share some information that we agreed upon.

1. It is beneficial for students and parents to have a uniformed marking system throughout the classes.. This is what was decided upon, but can be reconsidered and changed in the future.
Four marking phrases:
Below                      Progressing                          Proficient                         Exceptional
1                                      2                                             3                                          4
 

2. We also felt it was important for high school students to have “Behavior Expectations” that would be reported, not necessarily graded. From the visit with Fisher last year and our own large group discussions at faculty meetings, it is clear that our students need to refine certain skills and characteristics to be productive adults and succeed in future schooling and work. While you may not even be considering Standard Based Grading, some staff members wanted to use and post the same expectations in their classroom. We thought we would share with the whole staff for your consideration. 

BCLUW Behavior Expectations

Student will:
Arrive to class on time
Come to class prepared
Complete work by due date
Consistently show effort
Use class time efficiently
Work well with others
Show respect to others and the school environment

3. Let us know if you have any questions. We will send out an email about our next meeting. Working together will help make these growing pains manageable. Plus, Standard Based Grading fits beautifully with PLCs, as it gives specific areas to address! “

I will update this blog with our progress. I would also like to mention, along with a dedicated staff and supporting administration, Matt Townsley and Russ Goerrend have been tremendous supports throughout this learning!

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Written by sfarnsworth

August 20, 2012 at 3:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Although I have a couple of reservations about standards-based grading, I’m deeply impressed with the process you and your colleagues have gone through to arrive at this “edventure.”

    First of all, it seems to be relatively grass-roots. When you say, “What we all agreed upon was that Standard Based Grading made sense to us as teachers and as parents,” you’re operating from the healthiest possible perspective. Some people are in; some people are out. But those who are in are really in.

    Including the un-graded behavioral standards is also an excellent idea. The standards-based grading purists would quibble with including those kinds of standards, but it’s important to your team and your environment, so you’re doing it. Good for you.

    Finally, I admire the approach you’re using with your colleagues. You invite them to come along for the ride, either whole-hog or on a limited basis, but your tone remains non-judgemental. Your enthusiasm for the project makes joining you sound appealing, but you’re not requiring anyone to do anything. Those who join you will be doing it for the right reasons.

    This is so much better than mandated professional development initiatives that are unclear, philosophically dubious, haphazardly delivered, and unlikely to be sustained.

    Thank you for sharing this example of professional development at its best, and Iook forward to future updates on your progress.

    Gary Anderson

    August 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm


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