Standards Based Grading When You Can’t Really Standards Based Grade

I figured it would be best to start off my blogging career with a highly confusing title so unsuspecting readers would start out knowing that I am highly spastic, very overwhelming and generally confusing.

I started my teaching career in Virginia, was quickly asked to do a SBG pilot as a first year teacher, jumped in with both feet, and lived happily ever after as the teacher hated by those in the building that were against SBG.  A move to Kentucky left me at a school that does not do SBG and ever since I have been working to incorporate SBG principles into the grading requirements set forth by our school’s Site Based Decision Making Council.  Although I do wish I was able go back to a completely SBG classroom I have managed to fit the proverbial round peg in the square hole so to speak.

At the beginning of each unit my students get two things; a study guide that contains the standards to be covered in the unit with some helpful things to remember and a data recording sheet.  Each homework, quiz, and test question is labeled by standard.  As a class we reflect on their homework daily and students keep a record of how they are progressing on each standard.  I remind them daily that it is fine to lie to themselves and pretend they are doing better than they are but that they certainly can’t grow from that mindset.

Geometry Part I Student Performance Record

Geometry Part 1 Study Guide

I included some examples from our Common Core Geometry Part 1 Unit including a sample homework and test.  I would love to hear how you think they can be improved upon.  Anyone else out there doing SBG without really doing SBG?

Geometry Part 1 Test

7.G.2 HW 2

7.G.2 Quiz



2 thoughts on “Standards Based Grading When You Can’t Really Standards Based Grade

  1. I followed your comment on my blog here, so you already know how I’m having a hard time doing SBG without really doing SBG. My question is, how long are your class periods? Do the students have time to reflect on their HW after you checked it or do you give them the answers to check it themselves? How do they know they’re right?
    I’m generally impressed that they not only do the HW, but also reflect on it! I’d be happy with just the former 🙂

  2. Hi! Our class periods are 65 minutes long. I run kind of a weird class to be honest. I walk around while they are doing their warm-up and get a quick check of who put in effort on the homework and who didn’t and record it. (35% of the grades were I teach are required to be HW so I just give credit for trying). Most of my homework assignments are short, just 2-4 deep questions rather than skill based. Then I randomly select a student using the random name generator on my Smart Board to share their homework with the class. They are rewarded with our team incentive system (fake money that they use to buy snacks, go to incentive, etc) if they share but they can also opt out by paying me some of their money. That way no one feels trapped. As a class we scored that student’s homework as a 0,1, or 2 like a short answer. Sometimes we look at another example if the kids think they need it. I kind of let them guide this part. If they have a question we go over it and if no one has a question we are done. They give themselves a score after that and record it on their sheet. I teach middle school as well so they are probably a little easier to mold than high school students.

    I will say it doesn’t always work perfectly. I spend A LOT of time at the beginning of the year selling this plan to the kids. They like the short homework assignments and they are usually on something interesting. I make sure the kids understand that if they aren’t going to take the time to do the homework and reflect that we will go back to really boring and long book assignments haha. I usually have around 92% of the kids doing their homework on a given night and I will take that! I am excited to hear how you continue to make it work in your classroom. I wish we could just full on SBG in my school but it looks to be a few years off at least!

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