I've now completed a full course using Standards Based Grading (I previously completed just 1 semester) for my Integrated Math 2. I only had 1 section of it this time, so I'm not sure if my successes and struggles are common or a fluke. Here is the good, bad, and ugly of my experience this year. I'll include my reflection and next steps at the end too.
Good: Most students appreciated that I was trying to emphasize learning over memorize, regurgitate, and dump. And many appreciated that they were allowed to have multiple opportunities to show understanding of skills. I had several students who said that really helped to alleviate stress. And many really took the opportunity to learn and improve.
Bad: I felt like I was constantly assessing (I really was). I assessed every week on concepts from the previous week (usually 2-4), and allowed the opportunity for anyone who needed to reassess the previous concepts. Since students only needed their best effort, many stopped practicing the concept after they achieved the desired proficiency level.
Moving forward: I start over with a new term in just a few days and spent the past month reflecting and refining so I improve. I went through the concepts taught and prioritized them by MUST know (to pass with a C), should know, and good to know. My plan is to collect classwork more often and assess less often but cycle concepts more frequently. I plan to strictly provide feedback on assignments and assessments. This feedback will highlight what was done well and what steps should be taken to improve. Students will self-assess and keep evidence of their learning and understanding. I will conference with students prior to each grading period ending to determine a letter grade. I have 1 section so I really feel this will be manageable, and I'm excited to see an increase in learning and understanding, and therefore retaining. I know it still won't be perfect, but I'm hopeful of the opportunities it will provide students.
I'm getting ready to do a presentation (today) on this journey to some of my staff members. You can access it here.