SBG Summary: A Year in Review

Standards-Based Grading

Video Transcript:

How do we implement Standards Based Grading? We’ll get into the specific details soon, but first, I believe it’s helpful to see what the day to day flow looks like.

When do assessments happen? How long are units? Do we use any formative assessment in between quizzes? What about retakes?

We’ll see where all of these things fall as we look at a year in review.

Implementing Standards Based Grading actually starts before the school year begins. For me, the process began by making a checklist of concepts that would be assessed for Geometry, the course I was teaching.

We’ll get into the details of how to create a concept checklist in a later video, but in short, the goal is to find the 20 or so most important concepts in the course. We will spend the year focusing on this list, and our assessments will be based on it.

From there, I made a rough draft pacing guide based on my school calendar, and then I got started. The key word here is rough because I definitely allow for flexibility depending on how students do with the content.

This is the actual curriculum I used when teaching Geometry. As we scroll through, I’ll highlight specific days that relate to standards based grading.

We began the year with a group work intro activity and a 3 act math task. Then, we began learning the first concept on the concept checklist, distance in the coordinate plane. On the second day of the topic, I gave students an ungraded formative assessment which I call a free chance to make mistakes. The free chance was given at the end of class, and I looked for the most common mistakes at the end of the day. More on this in a future video.

Next, on day 4, our warm up focused on the most common mistakes from the free chance.

In order to allow students a little more time to learn, I decided to not quiz quite yet but instead chose to move on to midpoint formula while still working distance formula into the lessons. This was also possible because midpoint formula partners really well with distance formula.

Then, on day 6, we began the class by unpacking the upcoming quiz over distance and midpoint. We’ll discuss unpacking later, but in short, I allow groups to look at the actual quiz for 5 minutes and then ask questions as a class. This allows students to get a feel for what’s expected of them, and it helps take down assessment anxiety since they already know what’s coming.

After unpacking the quiz, we went on with normal class, and at the end of class, students took another free chance.

Next, on day 7, we had a warm up based on the free chance, and finally on day 8, we had our first quiz over distance and midpoint.

The day after the quiz, our standard procedure is to spend the majority of the class learning a new concept, and then in the latter part of class, I pass back the quizzes and allow students to look through their work with an answer key. Then, I go over specific questions that the class had trouble with. Again, we’ll go into more detail about this process later.

After day 9, we continued to learn about the next concept on our checklist, and after a few classes, we had another free chance on day 13. Then, as usual, we had a warm up on day 14 about the common mistakes from the free chance. In addition, we unpacked the upcoming quiz over angle pairs.

Then, on day 17, we had our angle pairs quiz. After students finished the quiz, I then gave the retake for distance and midpoint to every student. Based on our retake policy, this was the first opportunity for students to retake the quiz. There will be a future video over this as well, but in short, I want to make sure students don’t rush into retakes and instead spend a little more time learning and spiraling concepts before allowing them to retake.

Next, on the day after the angle pairs quiz, I handed back the quiz in the later half of class, and once again students were able to analyze their work with an answer key. In addition, I went over specific questions that the class struggled with.

From there, we moved on to the next concept on our checklist, and we repeated the process we’ve seen so far for the rest of the school year.

It’s also worth noting that I integrate lots of spiraling into the daily lessons in order to keep students fresh with previous concepts and to also push their understanding in order to be ready for retakes. You can check out the individual lessons on the website if you’d like more details about what spiraling looked like in daily lessons.

Now, let’s briefly scroll through the rest of the year so you can see how it played out. Pay attention to the icons to see when we had free chances, unpacked quizzes, the actual quizzes, and went over quizzes.

Let’s recap the process. We begin by teaching. Then, relatively early on in a unit, we give an ungraded opportunity for students to make mistakes. I like to call it a free chance.

Next, as we’re teaching, we try to get a sense for how students are doing and when they’re ready to quiz. We don’t want to quiz too early, but we also want to make sure we don’t spend too much time on certain concepts so we give appropriate time to other concepts as well.

Next, a couple days before the quiz, we unpack the quiz by giving groups an opportunity to look at the actual quiz and ask clarifying questions.

Finally, we give the actual quiz, and we go over the quiz the following class day.

From there, we begin teaching again, this time over the next concept on our checklist. As we teach the new concept, we also spiral in previous concepts to keep students fresh and prepare them for retakes.

Then, we give free chance opportunities and unpack the next quiz. Finally, we give the next quiz, and we provide an opportunity to retake previous quizzes on the new quiz day.

We repeat this process throughout the year until we make it through our concept checklist.

That’s a high level overview of what a year of standards based grading looks like. Now it’s time to dive into the details. How do we create a concept checklist? How do we create and grade quizzes? What about retakes and unpacking quizzes?

We’ll learn all of this and more in the next set of videos. See you then!

2 thoughts on “SBG Summary: A Year in Review

  1. Do you make any marking on their quiz? I read what you wrote about providing feedback, but do you make any comments under their mistakes to show them what they did something wrong.

    Thank you.

    1. Hey Lisett! I do not put any markings on their quiz. Instead, we usually go over common class errors during the next day’s warm up. In addition, when we go over the quiz, I provide an answer key for students to look at and check their work for mistakes. Then, I go over any problems the class wants me to work (usually the 90 and 100 level questions).

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