- See a shiny toy
- Toy gets thrown out to see how it works
- With wind blowing and freedom aplenty, the chase begins
- Right when fatigue sets in, the toy is within reach
Yeah, I feel ya buddy. In theory, that frisbee was all his. Sonofagun, he even timed it perfectly. But he failed, and (hopefully) got up, dusted himself off, and wondered why he had misjudged his path so poorly.
The same analogy could be used to compare my experiment with standards-based grading. I've talked with Darin Jolly, followed Thomas McMurray and Rick Wormelli on Twitter, and read through the archives of #SBGchat that is on twitter every Wednesday night. I've done some research, but admittedly have a lot more to do.
For our third trimester, I decided to give standards-based grading an opportunity to take my classroom to the next level. Being the lone wolf with something like this may have set me up for a miserable failure, but it was worth a shot. After all, there is no going back to giving points for filling a seat. It's just unethical, and a disservice to students, to base a student's grade off of effort. If a grade was going to be worth giving, I thought, it should be attached to a standard and directly reflect a student's understanding.
Skip ahead to this morning. As we come to the final stretch of the year, it's about that time to be proactive and look at final grades. What I see is disgusting. Part of my SBG push has been allowing re-dos throughout the entire trimester. My only stipulation is that students have to be in my room during lunch or after school. THAT'S IT. The reality? The students who would complete a re-do if I only gave them a 4 week time period (which was my old policy) were the same ones who took advantage of the extended time. Those who don't, still don't.
There is an assignment that was due in March - MARCH - that about a dozen students haven't done. I don't post grades anymore; I've replaced them with "summary of missing scores" so that students can see all missing assignments. You'd think that would help.
How am I supposed to get students to come in and re-do (or complete it the first time around) in a standards-based system?
I don't do candy or extrinsic rewards, so those are out. Seriously, all the kids have to do is come in and complete the work... but they don't. Any thoughts are welcome here.
The second piece in this is that I've got about 16 grades in the book for the third trimester. This means that I'm only summatively assessing an average of once per week, which is not good for administration. Many people on twitter have the freedom to try something new, but the concept of SBG was met with much resistance at my site this year.
How do I convince admin and other teachers that SBG is what's best for students when my trial has failed this year?
This may appear to be a bowing out of sorts regarding the concept of standards-based grading. On the contrary, I'm just like anyone trying to learn from mistakes and get better. All advice and critique is welcome.