Switching districts and moving from letter grades to standards based grading

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jul 21, 2012

    I have no idea where to begin to get myself acclimated. I've been using the letter scale for 4 years. Now I'm moving to a district that uses standards based grading. Students are scored 1-4 for below standard, approaching standard, meeting standard and above standard.

    How to you keep track of who's where? How to you manage all the standards? How do you grade papers?

    Any tips, videos, links etc you know of? By the way, this is for 2nd grade.
     
  2.  
  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 21, 2012

    I would look into Marzano's grading scale. It is based on the 1-4 scale and has some good rubrics.

    Instead of writing down grades, give the students a score of 1-4 on each assignment. You should also make sure to have a bonus type extension problem to differentiate the 3 students from the 4 students.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,129
    Likes Received:
    981

    Jul 21, 2012

    My previous school used the 1-4 system. It's pretty much the same thing as grades, they're just using numbers instead of letters.

    A couple things I didn't like/things to look out for:

    No matter how many times we explained it, I honestly don't think a lot of the parents understood it (especially when we had a language barrier too- many of our parents didn't speak English). It's frustrating because everyone knows what an "A" or an "F" means but throw the numbers out there and people get really confused.

    There really isn't a "C"- it's pretty much like 4=A, 3=B, 2=D, 1=F. I didn't like that there wasn't really an "average" or "middle ground" especially for my students that really struggled.

    It sounds like yours is this way too- I didn't like that to get a 4 you had to "exceed expectations." I feel like especially in elementary school, if you do exactly everything that the teacher asks of you, it's totally not fair that you don't get an equivalent of an "A." The kids were supposed to figure out on their own how to go "above and beyond" which I think is too much for say an 8 or 9 year old. How do they know when they're going "above and beyond" the assignment and when they're just messing it up (by putting extra things in there).

    Anyway, most teachers graded with rubrics that would tell them whether the kid got a 1,2,3, or 4. They also did .5's (not sure if you're allowed to do that), so if a kid got a mix of 2's and 3's on the rubric they'd get a 2.5. To get a 3, they'd have to get all 3's on the rubric. For little practice sheets or things that didn't really go into the final grade for the class they'd just put a check mark or whatever so it's not like you were making a rubric for every little thing you handed the kids.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 21, 2012

    I love it!

    waterfall is so right...many, many parents don't understand. More than a few parents were outright mean to me because they couldn't grasp the concet despite our best efforts, and many understood and were equally angey. But lots of parents knew it was best for their child.

    You'll probably find that you transition easily. If I think of anything specific to help, I'll pass it along.
     
  6. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jul 22, 2012

    I put looking into standards-based grading on my long-term goal list. I found this site that helps you do it online and they have some good resources on what standards-based grading looks like and how to do it, so it might be helpful to you-- http://activegrade.com/

    I haven't looked too deeply into that site but its the first hit that I get when I look up standards-based grading. Hope it can help you out. :)
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 22, 2012

    As a mom, I HATE the standatds based grading!!!

    It's so ambiguous, so subjective. "Met or exceeeded expectations"-- way too vague for me. Did she meet them? Did she exceed them? Was there more she could have/ should have done??

    And in one grade (I want to say 2nd, though I could be wrong) we were warned that the standards were for 2nd and 3rd, so we could expect our 2nd graders to score lower than they were used to.

    Exactly how does this show me how my daughter is doing and how I can help her to do better?? If EVERYONE is expected to score 2's and 3's instead of 3's and 4's???

    And I agree with Waterfall-- a 4 is "exceeded expectations." So in theory, a 4 should be pretty hard to get--if everyone is exceeding your expectations, then perhaps the bar is too low. But that means that the "standard" grade for a kid who is doing what he should do is a 3. (since a 2 means you're not meeting the expecations.) If the bulk of the kids get a 3 on everything,exactly what is this telling me? How can I help my child if all the information I'm getting is "the same as everyone else"?

    I would much, much prefer to see that she met reasonable expectations 82% of the time.

    As to the parents not understanding: if experienced teachers can't explain it to English speaking parents in a way that the parents will understand, what does that tell us?
     
  8. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2012

    In my Assessment class, we were told that the best way to make sure we know how students are progressing, even when using standards-based "grading," is to assign number grades and convert them to whatever format needed. That way you always have the raw score to refer to.
     
  9. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jul 22, 2012

    I'm surprised to hear some people are opposed to SBG. I wonder if there's different forms of SBG. What I mean is, maybe some schools give 1-4 for each subject per quarter, whereas my my district gives 1-4 for each standard. So instead of giving Jimmy a 2 in Math for the entire quarter, I can give him 2's in adding two-digit numbers, 3's in fractions, a 1 in rounding to the nearest ten, etc, etc. I think it paints a better picture of what Jimmy can do.

    I hope I'm making sense, I JUST rolled out of bed, I'm only 3 sips of coffee into my day :)
     
  10. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jul 22, 2012

    Bio, thanks for the link. That site is only $5 a month, so if I think it'll help me I'll sign up. There's also a 30 day trial. I hope it's already linked to Common Core so I can just import the standards in.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2012

    Some schools do use a 1-4 per subject per grading period. I think using the 1-4 per standard is great for the parents because it really tells them what their child can do and needs to work on.
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Jul 22, 2012

    We use a scale of 1-4, also. I always tell parents that the scale does not correlate with the letter grades that they are used to. When I was in school, I usually had straight A's. It is almost impossible for a student to get all 4's. I had a parent tell their kindergarten student, "If you get all 4's, we'll go to Chuck E. Cheese." :rolleyes:

    My district has created common assessments and rubrics for each benchmark at each grade level. I love this, because I can actually send the rubrics home to parents, along with student work samples. That way, they can clearly see why their child scored a certain grade, and how s/he can advance to the next level.

    This is how we basically view each number:
    1-The student needs teacher assistance to successfully complete the benchmark goal.
    2-The student needs some teacher assistance to successfully complete the benchmark goal, and does not quite have the level of understanding that we expect at this grade level.
    3-The student can independently complete/understand the benchmark goal at a level of understanding that is expected at this grade level.
    4-The student has a higher level of understanding, well beyond what a typical student at this grade level would achieve.

    An example could be with a benchmark regarding the use of periods at the end of a sentence (our only punctuation benchmark in 2nd grade).
    1-Student does not use periods when writing.
    2-Student uses periods when writing, but sometimes needs teacher assistance to put them in the correct place.
    3-Student uses periods correctly when writing.
    4-Student uses periods correctly, as well as other forms of punctuation (commas, apostrophes, quotation marks, etc.).

    Personally, I love standards-based grading. I feel that it is more developmentally appropriate.
     
  13. TerriInCa

    TerriInCa Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2012

    As a parent I hate it. For my daughter who was an excellent student who busted her you know what all through elementary school and only got 3's it was frustrating for her. To start the school year with all 2's knowing your child is doing all their homework and all the extra assignments because "she cant know it all yet" according to her teachers. At the end of 5th the teacher put letter grades as well on her report card. She was thrilled to see almost straight A's. It gave her the confidence she needed to begin middle school.

    With my son who is special needs seeing all 1's breaks my heart. I know he is doing his best and trying really hard and doing better this year than last. But it is like seeing all F's.

    As a teacher I understand the 1-4, but I believe it should be a 1-5 system instead.:2cents:
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 22, 2012

    One score per grading period? That's horrible. But SBG applied to every single standard? That's amazing...and soooo much more accurately reflects a student's mastery of any particular standard.

    When you use SBG, you have throw your experiences with As and Bs and 90s and 70s out the window...there is no relationship between the two ideas.
     
  15. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2012

    Out of curiosity, as a HS teacher, are you allowed to give intermediate scores like 2.5 or 3.5?
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 22, 2012

    Depends on the school, but we could. I like to avoid that, though. I think for younger students that takes something very understandable to them (nope, getting there, got it) and muddies it a bit. Note, we do only three points.
     
  17. greendream

    greendream Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    151

    Jul 22, 2012

    Wow. I hadn't even thought of it from that perspective. I have no experience with standards based grading, but if we implemented it tomorrow, probably 90% of my class would have a 3, which would tell me far less about their performance than the number grades we currently have.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Jul 22, 2012

    I guess my question is how do other grading scales tell you more information about your child, or the children in your class? For example, what exactly does a "B" mean? How does the letter "B" tell you more information than the number "3"? Doesn't it all depend on how the information is presented to the families?

    As I previously mentioned, my district has rubrics for each benchmark, which I send home with work samples, so that parents can see their child's current level of performance, along with information on how they can progress to the next level. I hope the parents of my students aren't confused as to what a 1, 2, 3, or 4 means.
     
  19. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 22, 2012

    Do you have other teachers on your grade level that you can ask? My school does standards based report cards, but all teachers in my grade level had to use the exact same assessments for each standard. We also graded them together so that the students would have the same score, no matter what class they were in. So I couldn't have done a lot of planning ahead of time in my situation since it all had to be the same.
     
  20. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2012

    I think you've gotten a lot of good info. K-3 is standards based at our school. We use achieving the standard (AC), progressing towards the standard (pr), and limited progress (lp). On anything I grade (ie put into our electronic grade book for parents to see) I just write the acronym. At our district pd, they told us if we think 6, 8, 10 ( out of 10 points) that gives us each level. Because our grade book is just one big calculator, pretty much everything is out of 10.

    I like our system, I don't think first graders need letter grades... But I can also see what others are saying about the 4th point of your scale.
     
  21. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2012

    To me, it sounds like this system will be better for the low students. Hopefully this leave less students saying "I'm bad at math!" or "I'm bad at science!" Now at least they'll have something more concrete to work on.
    On the other hand, the high students who are not getting 4s who are used to getting As may be discouraged.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 176 (members: 2, guests: 157, robots: 17)
test