Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Grading System

I decided to have an overhaul of how I grade tests and quizzes for this semester. I used a scale of 1-10 to grade quizzes and tests. I really liked the scale of 1-10, but I decided to opt for a 0-4 scale. . I know that the 0-4 scale is nothing revolutionary in the world of Standards Based Grading, but as far as I know, I am the only person in my building that has implemented this scale. I can really say that I am a fan of the 0-4 scale!

I took the terms (and paraphrased the definitions) that I use to classify levels from the Tennessee Department of Education website as this is what they use to assess students on end of course examinations and applied it to my grading system.

So, here is how I decided to break it down by levels.

You have exceptional understanding and expert ability to apply the knowledge and skills of the standard.
On Track
You have a comprehensive understanding and thorough ability to apply the knowledge and skills of the standard.
You are approaching understanding and have a partial ability to apply the knowledge and skills of the standard.
You have a minimal understanding and minimal ability to apply the knowledge and skills of the standard.
Not Assessed
You didn’t assess or answer the question; therefore, I cannot objectively measure your learning on the standard.

I decided to calculate some of my percentages with the help of Justin Aion's blog. Another reason that I chose 88% is that it is in the middle range of a B on the Tennessee state grading scale. It's not that far from a C, but it's not that close to an A. So, it works as a middle range there. So, if you can perform with 88% accuracy, that isn't too bad. I also like the terms that the state of Tennessee uses, and I think that they transfer seamlessly to standards based grading. I also like the use of these terms versus below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced, which were used on previous state assessments.

Another change I have made is to take my state's standards and write them in friendly "I Can" statements to give to students, which I refer to as skill concepts. I then take these statements to align my quizzes. Quizzes range from 1-2 skill concepts while some will range anywhere from 3-5 skill concepts. I was wanting to give only quizzes that assessed 1-2 skill concepts, but I quickly realized that I wasn't going to be able to handle the paperwork load of giving feedback and assessing three to four times a week. I also realized that this was going to be tough given the depth of Algebra 2 and Geometry standards in Tennessee. So, I think I have figured out a more manageable system, and I also feel that this setup works to students' benefit as it is definitely more focused on skills and standards. It is also designed to see where students' strengths and areas of refinement are throughout the course.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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