Student Learning Folders

Standards-Based Grading

We’ll be using student learning folders/binders for the first time this year. The goal is for students to keep better track of their learning and take more ownership in the process. In addition, the folder will be directly tied to our new retake policy.


Page 1 is the concept checklist for the course. Students will fill in their scores after we go over each quiz.

Geometry Checklist

Page 2 is the grading scale that we use to grade each quiz. The intention is for students to know what their grade actually represents. A grade of 70 means a student is emerging, and it’s important for them to know that instead of believing they’re just barely a passing student.

Starting on page 3, the kids will place their first completed quiz in the folder after we go over it in class. We want them to keep their work for reference so they can analyze it and witness their progress as they retake assessments in the future. For Geometry, our first quiz is over Distance and Midpoint.

First Quiz Geometry

On the day we go over the quiz, students will receive an analysis handout with reflection questions on the front…

Reflection Questions

And practice problems on the back…

Practice Problems

The practice problems are the same as the ones from the quiz except with different numbers. I thought it would be helpful to keep the questions similar so that the kids can reference their quiz while working. This also gives incentive for the kids to follow along while we are going over quizzes in class.

After placing the analysis handout in the folder, we won’t put more papers in until our next quiz analysis day (usually the day after we take a quiz).

On the next quiz analysis day, students will place their new quiz in the folder and receive another analysis paper to put in and complete as well. In addition, if a student chose to retake the Distance & Midpoint quiz, then he or she may receive an analysis form for the retake if they decide to retake a 2nd time. More on this below.

To help clarify what’s written above, here’s a link to the contents of our Geometry folder (it’s not complete yet but shows the pattern).

Use & Retake Policy

Here’s the vision.

  1. Student takes Distance & Midpoint quiz
  2. Teacher grades quiz and puts grades in personal spreadsheet.
  3. We go over quiz in class next day. Student receives and corrects quiz. In addition, student receives and completes analysis/practice handout. This handout can be completed any time before our next quiz day. In addition, grade progress is marked on his or her concept checklist.
  4. At end of class, students come up to teacher desk to see grade they made on the Distance & Midpoint quiz. If grades are easily accessible online or through an app, then students can choose to see their grades there instead. The teacher places the grades in the official gradebook system after class is finished.
  5. Student fills in concept checklist based on their grade and completes analysis/practice handout if they haven’t already.

We then start learning about the next concept, Angle Pairs. We work through that concept while spiraling common mistakes from Distance and Midpoint when time allows. After Angle Pairs learning has occurred, we take a quiz over it. The learning folder / analysis process continues…

  1. Student takes Angle Pairs quiz.
  2. Once finished with the quiz, the student is offered an opportunity to retake the Distance & Midpoint quiz.
  3. Teacher grades Angles Pairs quiz and Distance & Midpoint retake and puts grades in personal spreadsheet.
  4. We go over Angle Pairs quiz in class next day, but we most likely will not go over the Distance & Midpoint retake because of time limitations.
  5. Student receives and corrects Angle Pairs quiz. In addition, student receives and completes an Angle Pairs analysis/practice handout. This handout can be completed any time before our next quiz day. Grade progress is also marked by student on his or her concept checklist.

At this point, students may retake the Distance & Midpoint quiz a 2nd time at any point before the end of the grading period. However, they must complete an analysis/practice handout over their 1st retake AND come in for tutoring before retaking for a 2nd time. If a student decides that he or she wants a 2nd retake opportunity (this is rare by the way), then he or she will be given the analysis/ practice handout after the request. Also, we can go over their first retake together in order to see what was missed.


6 thoughts on “Student Learning Folders

  1. How did the learning folders work? We’re planning to implement something similar this year for Algebra 1 and 2. Success?

    1. Hey Paul,

      Long story, but I wasn’t able to use the folders for most of the year. However, for the little I saw, it worked well. The kids who completed the analysis forms were improving on retakes.

      One change I’m going to make next year is to encourage all students to do the first retake and technically not require them to fill out the analysis form. I say technically because I’m going to take a completion grade on the analysis form and stay on them to complete it in order to keep them thinking through their work. I’ll continue to emphasize that I want to see them grow, and the analysis forms are designed for student improvement.

      I’ve decided that requiring the analysis form for the first retake really hinders the students who traditionally struggle with school norms. Those are the ones I want to see thrive the most, so I don’t want to knowingly put stumbling blocks in front of them. Many of them won’t be able to see their growth for themselves simply because they historically haven’t had the skills to play school well. I want every student to be able to see their growth.

      However, I will still require analysis forms for any retake after the first retake because that is the time where I most frequently see kids trying to work the system simply to get better grades.

      Hope that helps!

    1. I did get an opportunity to use this process for a bit. However, it was all digital because we went 1:1 this year. I mainly focused on the quiz analysis handouts though. As you might expect, kids were more likely to do the analysis when given class time to complete it. If it needed to be done outside of class, the percentage of kids who completed it went way down. Overall, the kids who went through with the analysis seemed to improve.

    1. I did not use multiple versions, but I’m not opposed to that.

      My students sat in groups every day except for assessment days. On assessment days, I moved the desks to rows.

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