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Grades

    Re: Standards Based Grading
    Teach

    I bought Harry K. Wong's book The First Day of School. In it he
    says that ongoing assessment is not graded. Adam Waxler and Tom
    Daly also talk about this. In our district four elementary
    schools are piloting SBRC. The middle school and high school
    don't have to have SBRC.

    But the pilot schools are not giving a 4. So the attitude of
    some kids is "Why should I do extra work if all I'm geting is a
    3?" Good question. This question comes from a colleagues
    daughter. The pilot schools are not allowed to use percentage
    grades. Every assignment must have the standard on it.
    Theschools are not ready for SBRC technologically but one
    administrator is ignoring the report card committee and pilot
    schools and pushing this onto the elementary schools. Teachers
    are very should I say politely upset.

    What is the advantage of going standards based report cards if
    you are teaching the standards to begin with? Do you really see
    an improvement in the scores of the students? Wish
    administrators would remember what it's like to be in the
    classroom. Many at our school would like to fire our principal
    and manage the school ourselves!

    On 3/28/09, questions to jmak wrote:
    > Please share with us what you are doing. If a student
    > scores 75% on an assessment do you re-teach the skill until
    > an 80% or better is obtained? Do you re-assess the skill a
    > week, a month, a semester later to determine whether the
    > skill was actually mastered? What are the demographics of
    > your school district? If 65% is passing in middle and high
    > school, why is this setting the bar low for elementary
    > students, but passing for their older brothers and sisters?
    > Shouldn't the bar be set higher for all? I understand your
    > logic as well as the logic behind the 1-4 grading system,
    > but I maintain that there is also a reality that needs to
    > be considered. I think it's confusing to require teachers
    > to frequently assess students and grade the assessments to
    > guide future lessons, but not correlate grades to a 1, 2, 3
    > or 4. What constitutes mastery, and is it even realistic
    > for all, or even most, to reach it? How long did it take
    > all of us to master our jobs? It's possible to teach many
    > years and never reach mastery. How does this all go along
    > with the intense pacing guides that tell us just to keep
    > moving, they'll get it eventually -- is that a learning
    > environment that is even conducive to anyone reaching
    > mastery?
    > I work very hard to create engaging lessons, hands on and
    > experiential activities, and used brain based learning
    > techniques. I've taught in-service classes to colleagues
    > on classroom management techniques, and my classroom is a
    > happy and exiciting place to be for both me and my
    > students. However, there is now, and always has been of a
    > bell curve of abilities. I give a lot more attention to the
    > students at the lower end of the curve, but some are just
    > not developmentally ready to learn some of the content
    > (especially in mathematics). So then what? Give them 2's
    > and move them on anyway? Or retain them because they
    > haven't mastered all of the required curriculum for that
    > grade level.
    >
    > On 3/28/09, jmak wrote:
    >> My school is piloting a 1-2-3-4 system for grades. We
    >> don't correlate 1:1 a
    >> number with a letter grade. That defeats the purpose. A
    >> student is a 4 if he/she performs "well above
    >> grade level". That is not the same as an A. A
    >> student earns a 3 if he/she shows "mastery"
    >> of subject matter. To me, someone who earns a 70% has
    >> not "mastered" the material. A 2 indicates
    >> that a student sometimes demonstrates understanding of
    >> the goal/objective. I would give a student a 2 if
    >> he/she only understands less than 80%. Perhaps the
    >> essential question is, "What is mastery?" In
    >> my mind, mastery means that the subject matter is
    >> understood very well. There was someone who said they
    >> give 3s for anything above 65%. Good grief! That seems
    >> like a crock to me. If my child only scored 66%, I
    >> would NOT want to see a 3 on his/her assignment or
    >> report card. Talk about watering down the grades and
    >> setting the bar LOW.
    >>
    >> Re-teaching is an entirely different matter. I don't
    >> know how to resolve the problems with lack of
    >> time/resources for re-teaching concepts that students
    >> don't get the 1st time. ] On 3/27/09, ny/5 wrote:
    >>> Theoretically that was the intent of the 1, 2, 3, 4
    >>> system; but realistically, do we really have the time
    >>> to keep re-teaching one skill to Johnny until he
    >>> masters it, and Janey a different one, and Skippy yet
    >>> another one -- all year long for each and every
    >>> standard for each and every subject? All the while
    >>> moving forward with the standards... We're talking
    >>> individualized education plans for all -- one teacher
    >>> and 25 students. If you don't correlate the 1-4
    >>> system with grades, then how do you do it? What
    >>> constitutes mastery? I'm not being argumentative, but
    >>> am very interested in what others are doing. Also,
    >>> what state are you in where a "C" is not
    >>> considered grade level. If all students are required
    >>> to have A and B averages in order to meet grade level
    >>> standards, how is this being accomplished? Is the
    >>> curriculum watered down, do the students all rise to
    >>> the occasion, or is there a large failure and
    >>> retention rate?
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> On 3/27/09, Just Curious wrote:
    >>>> If you assign letter grades and then change them to
    >>>> standards based assessment numbers, what is the
    >>>> difference? I thought the idea was to get away from
    >>>> grades and just show that students are mastering
    >>>> material. Does it matter if Johnny mastered the
    >>>> skill on the first try or the 12th as long as he
    >>>> mastered it?
    >>>>
    >>>> On 3/27/09, ny/5 wrote:
    >>>>> Really! I find this very interesting. Our 1's,
    >>>>> 2's, 3's and 4's are the same as yours, except
    >>>>> anything above passing is considered on grade
    >>>>> level. The actually allow us to add pluses and
    >>>>> minuses to the numbers, so if your average was a
    >>>>> D it would be a 3-.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> On 3/27/09, anon wrote:
    >>>>>> Just curious -- I give 2's for 50-64% averages
    >>>>>> in math. In our state 65% is a passing grade.
    >>>>>> 65-95 is considered a 3 -------------------
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> In our district, 2's go to C and D averages. A
    >>>>>> three is given to A and B averages. A C average
    >>>>>> is not considered to be grade level work.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> Our district's definition for the numbers:
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> 4 - above grade level 3 - at grade level 2 -
    >>>>>> approaching grade level 1 - below grade level
    >>>>>>

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