07 January 2019

Look into my Journey with SBG

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.

Ugly: since students weren't graded on completing assignments, many just didn't do them. The times I was providing for students to practice became social time for several, especially as we got to the end of the term. This became very evident with results from the final- students showed little ability to recall and apply what we had worked on throughout the course.

Bitmoji ImageMoving 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


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey! It seems like the kids really so apprecipitated a different chance to show their learning. I wonder if it can have a 'long term learning' or something where the kids have to demonstrate some random old standards on each of the new assessments?

    1. That's what I have moved a little more toward this semester. It's not a one and done in showing understanding anymore so the students are constantly working on standards. So far it has been working well, but midterms are in 2 weeks, so I'll have an even better idea then.