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Showing posts from June, 2018

Grading Practices: How I Plan Using Standards Based Grading

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I've talked a lot about the challenges of reforming your grading practices but I want to give you a chance to see what those challenges really look like. I am currently rewriting and revising all of my AP World History Course with more specific objectives. A mistake I made last year with that course was making the objectives too broad and not having students reflect often enough, so now I am taking a totally different approach and you are invited to visit my in progress planning document and leave questions and comments on the document as I work on it!


One common question I get is about skills based objectives. The Common Core standards put literacy in every classroom (which I love) but the standards also ask teachers to assess skills and the skills are typically not one and done, they build throughout units or throughout the year. They are a part of multiple lessons and it is hard to determine the best way to approach reoccurring skills when Standards Based Grading. This is one o…

Grading Practices: My Biggest Challenge

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Recently I presented on how and why I have implemented Reflective Standards-Based grading in a secondary high school classroom. This is now my fourth semester of trying it (if I include my summer school courses) and I have people coming in today to observe what it's like but I am hesitant for the conversations we will have because the work is hard. Like, really, really, really hard. I don't want to paint it all to be rainbows and butterflies because while the work feels essential and the grading I do has become more fulfilling there are a number of real challenges that I am not sure how to really fully address.

Challenge 1: Planning You have to backward map each unit and already know what evidence of learning you would accept from each student. I've given up a lot of the old busy work I used to assign and had to create new lessons that are relevant to the standards I am measuring. It's my fourth semester of doing this and I still don't have it exactly right. Part of…