Sunday, January 24, 2010

How To Grade For Learning

I found this great new book called, "How To Grade For Learning, Linking Grades to Standards" by Ken O'Connor. It's specifically focused on middle and high school.

He uses these guidelines for grading:

1) Relate grading procedures to learning goals (standards)
2) Use criterion referenced performance standards as reference points to determine grades (grading rubric)
3) Limit the valued attributes included in grades to individual achievement
4) Sample student performance - do not include all scores in grades
5) Grade in pencil - keep records so they can be updated easily
6) Crunch numbers carefully - if at all
7) Use quality assessments and properly recorded evidence of achievement
8) Discuss and involve students in assessment, including grading, throughout the teaching/learning process

In this book the author says that we should not grade formative assessments, only summative assessments. He goes on to say that teachers should provide feedback on formative assessments, but because they are "formative" - it would be unfair to grade them. He says, "What does count for grades are the performances that students give to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and behaviors they have acquired as a result of instruction and practice." He says that teachers should have some record keeping mechanism form both summative and formative assessments, but the grade includes only summative assessment scores.

The book is filled with checklists and grade book examples.

Here's another quote that is helpful in focusing our work:

"In order to have grades that have real, not just symbolic, meaning, and enable us to focus on learning, not grades, grading must be seen not just as a numerical, mechanical exercise, but as an exercise in professional judgement."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

BC's Gradescale

When I switched to grading on a 4-3-2-1-0 rubric, I created a new grade scale on Discovery. I felt I need to do so because the traditional grade scale calculates 3/4 = 75% = C. I didn't think a student who was proficient (which is what my 3 means) at all objectives should recieve a C. So here it is:
A = 90%
D= 56%

Now a person getting all 3's (meeting objective) would recieve a B-. You need to be exceeding on some objectives to get higher than a B+
A person earning all 2's (progressing) and a couple 3's would recieve a D-.

Any thoughts? Anyone else want to share their grade scale?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Too Many Objectives!

Whew! I am feeling so relieved to be done with Chapter 3, Linear Relationships. I had WAY too many objectives (22). I need to figure out a way to narrow them down for next year. Any algebra teachers want to weigh in on what they would consider the "top ten" objectives for linear relationships?
I am happily beginning Chapter 4, Line of Best Fit and Point-slope form. I will be keeping objectives much more general (As in "Can write an equation in Point-slope form"). Maybe too much so, but that will help me learn the balance.