How I’ve Been Grading This Year #MTBoS30

In my College Algebra and Calculus classes, I graded assessments very traditionally. But in my Algebra I and II classes, I graded with rubrics. I am not really 100% happy with the system, but it was kind of a transition to a Standards Based Grading system, which is where I want to be next year.

In my rubrics classes, I handed out a rubric at the beginning of a unit/section that had every goal I would be assessing on the test or quiz. Then, when they took their assessment, I graded using a rubric. I would scale the sum of their understanding points to 50 or 100 because that’s what the person before me had tests and quizzes out of and they seemed like nice numbers. If they wanted to reassess any of the goals on that assessment, they’d have to correct those problems on the assessment, answer the reflection questions, and complete some extra practice problems from their book. It’s the only reason to have the textbook since I started giving them homework packets. I’d determine how many practice problems to do based on what their understanding level was. If they were reassessing a 3, they’d probably have to only do 2 or 3 extra practice problems. If they were reassessing a 1, they might have to do all of them. In that case, usually the first few of those problems were done with me when we met one on one. After they’re done with that, I give them a new set of problems for that goal and I replace their old score with their new one. So far, only one student hasn’t improved when reassessing (got the same score of 3/4).

Example Quiz Rubric .doc   Example Quiz Rubric .pdf

I did like this system because it was very clear to me, students, and parents what the students were proficient in and what they needed work in. I also liked that over the course of a year, almost 3/4 of my students reassessed at least one goal. Sometimes they were pretty much forced to by me, but many times they came to me on their own. Growth mindset in the making. Also, it got students to say “reassess” more, which for some reason sounds better to me than “retest” or “retake”. Small win in my head.

I didn’t like this system because I felt like it caused me to make assessments that did not require any critical thinking. This was the first time I was creating my own assessments, and that’s overwhelming by itself. Coupled with the fact that I didn’t know how I’d grade a problem that, say, required the use of multiple goals or was an application problem, creating assessments became a dreaded task for me. I was always conflicted. Sometimes I would put a goal like “Can apply these goals” but that just set the kids up that didn’t get those goals in the first place for failure. Some people I’ve talked to said that they only give a 4 on a goal if they can do the application problems. I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ll be looking into more SBG stuff this summer and it’s nice to know that my principal supports me in that. I know there’s a ton of people that have blogged about it and I’ve bookmarked a bunch and I’ve met people at conferences and workshops that have graciously emailed me their SBG work. I just need to take the time to go through it. I eventually want to get on Dane Elhert’s level:

I’ll talk about my partner quizzes in another post.

How do you assess students? Any advice to a (hopefully) soon-to-be SBG-er?

Ils disent que l’évaluation est la plus importante chose qu’une prof fait. Mais comment on le fait?


2 thoughts on “How I’ve Been Grading This Year #MTBoS30

  1. Good stuff! Interesting reading your assessment journey! It does seem like you’re trending towards SBG already. Yes, it can get a bit tricky when students are reassessing. Trying to isolate individual goals isn’t easy to do…not to mention making them rich, thought-provoking. Look forward to seeing your SBG implementation!


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