This year I will be utilizing Standards Based Grading. Below is the information that was sent to parents about this grading system. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Thanks in advance.
This letter aims to briefly explain the reasoning behind Standards-Based Grading and avoid confusion about grades later in the school year.
Standards-Based Grading will assess students’ skills and knowledge in relation to the specific Minnesota State Standards for that particular grade level and content area. All teachers teach these standards, and Standards-Based Grading seeks to make learning more apparent by showing a students’ level of understanding for each individual standard. Instead of seeing individual assignments in the gradebook, you will see each standard in the summative category broken down into smaller learning targets. Explanations of these standards and targets will be found on each teacher’s web page. These standards will have a similar feel to the “I can…” statements already used in many classrooms in the district. Each learning target will be graded on a scale of 1-4, with scores of 3 or above considered “passing”:
Student has fully demonstrated content proficiency and skill application of the outcomes for the particular target at this point in the school year.
I’ve got it! I can teach this to another person
Student has demonstrated content proficiency and skill application, although there may be a few minor errors.
I’ve got it, but I’m not confident I could teach it.
Student has demonstrated partial proficiency and emerging skill application with minor errors.
Almost got it.
Student has demonstrated major gaps in understanding core content.
I still have questions.
Student has demonstrated weak or no understanding of core content.
I am completely confused.
Student has not demonstrated any attempt to understand content.
As students continue to work on the learning targets and standards throughout the year, their scores will be updated to reflect their most recent level of understanding. These scores will not be averaged, so students’ scores will fully reflect their improvement rather than punishing them from starting out with a low score.
Standards-based grading also has students assess and reassess their learning more frequently. Students can retake any portion that is assessed below a 3 by filling out reassessment ticket. Students will need to reflect on their performance and then provide evidence of independent remedial work to prepare for reassessment. All formative practice also needs to be finished before reassessment. Reassessment is expected only for targets/sections not considered passing (0-2), but all students will have the option of reassessing until they reach a 4.
Example of a Standards-Based Grading in a summative assessment:
Learning Target: I can identify and describe the challenges faced during the construction of the transcontinental railroad.
Mastery (4) You got it!
Approaching (3) Almost got it!
Developing (2) Still needs work
Beginning (1) Did not get it
What was the biggest challenge faced by the Central Pacific during construction? After circling your response, please provide a rationale for why you chose your answer.
A. conflict with Native Americans.
B. the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
C. workers being angry about their low pay.
D. a lack of supplies to do the job.
Describe what the 2 biggest challenges were that the Union Pacific faced during construction.
(This section of a test would represent one single learning target. Tests will be made up of several learning targets, and each will be assessed and recorded in the gradebook individually.)
Formative assignments (daily practice) will still be used, and will be scored as one point for completed practice, and zero for insufficient effort. Formative assignments that are not turned in on or before the due date will receive a score of LI until the assignment is handed in, at which time it will become a zero. While the student will not receive a point for the assignment, it still must be done before a student is allowed to retake a related summative assignment.
Here are some reference websites and materials if you would like more information about the rationale, evidence of success, and implementation of Standards-Based Grading in other schools:
Any questions can be directed to your child’s teacher, Mr. Howe, or Mr. Klennert. We look forward to working with your students this year!