I’ve spent A LOT of time thinking about grading this summer. As summer winds down, I have put focus on getting some solid planning done and after lots of coffee, sketches on scratch paper, and chats with colleagues and friends, I think I’ve finally found a happy place where I feel comfortable and confident with my plans. This is going to be my first year trying out SBG, so I want to keep it simple as to not confuse myself or my students. Here is what I’m thinking:
In both Algebra I and Geometry, I am going to be diligent about maintaining short, frequent assessments on one standard at a time. These will happen every couple of days after we learn a standard. After reading the math=love blog, I loved her idea (I pretty much love everything she does) of having students write the skill and learning goal on their paper. I think this could reinforce the topic we are learning, and overtime, I think having students write “I can” statements will increase their confidence in their understanding. For example, when we learn solving linear equations, this will fall under the skill, “linear equations,” and the learning goal for the students would be “I can use algebraic methods to solve a linear equation.” Both of these will be posted on the board along with the 2-3 problems they will be solving. Hopefully by just writing the problems on the board, it will save me time typing up problems and making copies since they will happen frequently (again, keeping it simple will be my SBG motto this year). But, I will need to be specific in helping students understand how to write the problem and show their work in a neat and organized manner. I am also pretty sure I’m going to use a 1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4 scale and require students who make less than a 3.5 (88%) to retake. Below is the example of the SBG quiz template I revised from the math=love blog. This also takes place of the red, yellow, green systems I talked about in a previous SBG post.
These SBG checks that will happen about twice a week will comprise 60% of a student’s grade. Projects and larger Quizzes that comprise multiple standards will count for 30% and then there will be one cumulative nine weeks test that will be 10%. Students may retake any SBG check or larger quiz if it is below a 3.5.
I think by having frequent checks, followed by more comprehensive projects/quizzes, will help kids retain their knowledge beyond just for one day, one check. Then, having one final test at the end of each nine weeks, my Algebra 1 students will have the feel of a larger spiraling test like the STAAR test, and my geometry students will also keep retaining their spiraling knowledge.
Feel free to comment with any thoughts or ideas as I start to move forward into the new year!