A few years ago, I dove into the world of standards-based grading (SBG). While it had its merits, I decided to dump SBG for what I called UNgrading. I happily rolled with UNgrading for two years and mostly loved it. My chief struggle was finding time to conference with all students about their grades.
This year, I’m teaching at a new school with much less flexibility. My new school is much more locked in to curriculum and pacing guides, common assessments, etc. I have larger classes and a larger student load overall.
After a few weeks of existential vertigo, I needed to break the status quo. Full-fledged project-based learning with UNgrading wasn’t an option for me or for my new colleagues, so I decided SBG would champion my subversion campaign.
I have mostly avoided my previous gradebook frustrations with a version of the Keep It Simple Standards-Based Grading recommended by Frank Noschese. I have also read everything on the blogs of Shawn Cornally and Jason Buell and they have been crazy helpful. Yay blogosphere!
The cool thing is that several of my colleagues have expressed interest in jumping on board the SBG Express! My new administrators have been incredibly supportive of SBG as well.
I’m not happy that my primary form of assessment so far has been lab reports and quizzes. I definitely need help in this area.
I still have a lot of room for improving how well I communicate my grading method to my students (and parents). The kids are only just now starting to get it, 12 weeks into the school year.
In spite of these struggles, I feel like I’m on the right track!