Thursday, December 3, 2009

First Ever “Grade Expectations” Club Meeting Notes

First Ever “Grade Expectations” Club Meeting Notes
November 14, 2009

Attending: B. Collins, M. Spriggs

To discuss current grading practices and the impact of those practices on student learning.
To share what works and what doesn’t and adjust and improve our systems.

What it is:
Students earn grades based on whether or not they meet learning targets. These learning targets include skills and knowledge of key mathematical concepts. For example:

Add and subtract integers.
Multiply and divide integers.

Students are assessed in a variety of ways multiple times on each skill/concept. Students receive a score of 4, 3, 2, 1, or 0 (or in Martha’s case, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6).

Every assignment given to students is directly related to a key skill/concept.

If students do not get a “4” on an assessment they can try again after additional practice.

What’s working?
Students are focused on learning.
Grades reflect learning, not completion of assignments.
Student focus is towards learning and away from point accumulation.
Providing students with student work and giving students a chance to score it supports students understanding of grading rubric (4,3,2,1,0 scale).
Students don’t receive an overall grade on assessments; rather they are graded on each skill/concept. Feedback is targeted.
Class average grades are higher than they have been compared to our old ways of grading.
Class average grades match benchmark assessment scores.
Providing students with skills/concepts to be learned at the beginning of unit keeps students focused on learning.
Students know what they know and they know what they don’t know.
Students can choose level of support for assessments. If they want to go for a “4” they cannot use notes or request hints from teacher.

Are some skills/concepts more important and should they be worth more points?
How can we connect these skills/concepts to the bigger math ideas?
Discovery grade book is cumbersome and does not show three grades for the same assignment (have to do paper or excel to keep records).
How do you decide on final letter grade?
How do we get more teachers on board?
What should we call the thing students are learning? Here are some ideas:
Learning target
Is there a benefit to using same language?

To do:
Bronwyn will email Martha her reflections on how this system works for her.
Bronwyn will email Martha grade scale poster (4,3,2,1,0 system)
Bronwyn and Martha will Survey students who are in classes with this system and students who are not.
Martha will invite other to join our group.
Set up a blog/website to share ideas, task cards, grade scales, assessments, etc.
Martha to send out these notes!

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