Growth Wall

Standards-Based Grading

Video Transcript

After students analyze their quizzes and then take their first round of retakes, we are ready to celebrate growth. More than just celebrating high grades, we also want to give recognition to any student who grows their understanding.

How can we do this? Let’s talk about the growth wall.

First, what is a growth wall? Basically, we designate a wall in our classroom to place symbols of recognition for students who either improve their score on a concept or master a concept.

In my classroom, I chose to put student names on hexagons.

Here’s an example. I made a template with a cool hexagon design and a text box for the student’s name and the concept they mastered or grew their understanding in.

The reason why I chose this hexagon is because it not only looks cool individually, but the wall looks more and more cool as more hexagons are added. They tile nicely, and together, all the student growth creates a beautiful pattern.

So, each hexagon symbolizes a cool achievement, growth or mastery. And the wall symbolizes that together we achieve something better than what we do as individuals.

By the way, a link to a template hexagon is on our workshop page for you to use if you’d like.

That’s the wall, now let’s see how students receive a hexagon. 

Any time a student improves their score on a retake or masters a quiz or retake, the student earns a hexagon. Here are 3 examples.

Example 1. Student scores a 10 on the first attempt of the slope quiz or a 10 on any retake of the slope quiz. This student earns a hexagon.

Example 2. Student earns an 8 on the first attempt of the slope quiz and then scores an 8.5 on the retake. This student earns a hexagon.

Example 3. Student earns a 7 on the first attempt of the slope quiz, then scores a 7 on the retake and then scores a 7.5 on the second retake. This student earns a hexagon.

Again, whenever a student scores a 10 for mastery or improves their score in any way on any retake, a student earns a hexagon.

This is really exciting because there is visible growth for all to see. I also like it because it gives an opportunity to celebrate potentially every student in the classroom. Even if someone improves from a 6 to a 6.5, it’s a celebration opportunity because growth is happening.

Finally, when do we officially announce that students have earned a hexagon and then place it on the wall?

Since the goal is to celebrate and not create social status, I want to make sure the class doesn’t know who scored a 10 versus who improved their score. I only care to celebrate growth and learning.

Therefore, Hexagons are not announced until after the first retake has been graded for each concept. 

For example, when we take the first slope quiz, I do not announce the students who earned a 10. I don’t announce any hexagons for the concept after the first attempt.

However, after the results for the first retake of the slope quiz are released, I then announce all hexagons for that concept. Therefore, any students who scored a 10 on the first quiz are not singled out but instead looped in with students who showed growth.

I did this because Students realize the only way to earn a hexagon after the first quiz is to score 10 (mastery). This makes sense because a student can’t demonstrate improvement on a quiz until they’ve taken a retake. Therefore, in order to keep from reinforcing classroom status, we wait until after the retake to reveal hexagons because all options are open at that point. Students could have made a 100, improved by a small increment, or improved by a large increment. It’s more of a mystery, and I believe this is better for classroom culture.

Well we’ve officially made it to the end of the workshop. Thank you so much for spending your valuable time with me. I really appreciate it.

As always, if you have follow up questions about anything we talked about, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Take care, and best of luck this school year.