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Presented by Dr. Karen M. Whiteman. Overview of our current grading system Teaching to Standards SBG What is it? Beliefs Rubric Benefits Grading Final.

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Presentation on theme: "Presented by Dr. Karen M. Whiteman. Overview of our current grading system Teaching to Standards SBG What is it? Beliefs Rubric Benefits Grading Final."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presented by Dr. Karen M. Whiteman


3 Overview of our current grading system Teaching to Standards SBG What is it? Beliefs Rubric Benefits Grading Final thoughts Time for questions

4 Cell phones off and away Listen with an open heart and mind Ask questions when you don’t understand Limit side bar conversations We will take a break around 1:30 Anything we need to add?

5 The restrooms are located to the left down the hall. I will try to stop for questions periodically, but I want to get everything in so please jot down questions as you have them and hopefully I will get to them at some point. Use a sticky note to leave me questions on the Parking Lot if you like…don’t forget your name and email so I can answer. Please fill out the evaluation before you leave today and leave it in the center of your table. A little about me…

6 You will have a deeper understanding of teaching to standards, SBG, and why we are doing it. You will (hopefully) feel more comfortable with SBG. You will be able to answer parent questions about SBG. Hopefully, you will feel positively about it too.


8 Uses a scale of A – F or percents Points and extra credit are given Averaging is used Task completion is important It is cumulative Grade book gives information on assignments rather than content. Based mostly on test grades Behavior, punctuality, and other non-academic factors are considered Very subjective Teachers define the criteria – can be different teacher to teacher Prior performance is more important than improvement The grade is the grade Students are compared to other students

9 Discuss this with others at your table.

10 Moving to a standards based system requires a shift in your thinking and a shift in what takes place inside the four walls of your classroom. Here’s to shifting!


12 Before we can talk about grading standards, we need to talk about teaching to standards. The standard is the starting point and activities are built from the standard. Every lesson/activity is purposefully done to help students master the skills in the standard. Each lesson taught is connected to a standard, and learning targets along the way mark progress toward meeting the standard. Assessments are planned ahead of time as well and directly relate to the standard. Opportunities to meet learning goals are varied. Students know what standard they are learning and why. “I Can” statements. The grade book is set up according to standards, not assignments. As the teacher, you need to be well-planned.

13 “Performance standards specify “how good is good enough.” They relate to issues of assessment that gauge the degree to which content standards have been attained…They are indices of quality that specify how adept or competent a student demonstration should be.” J. Kendall and R. J. Marzano

14 What do students need to know, understand and be able to do? How will we teach effectively to ensure students learn? How will we know that students have learned? What do we do when students don’t learn or reach proficiency?

15 When you teach to standards: students do more of the work of learning students have more opportunities to make their own meaning students realize exactly what they need to learn and be able to do students can take more ownership of and responsibility for their learning students must show you that they have met the standard – this is important for a level 4 parents know exactly what their child needs to know and be able to do students and parents will know their strengths and weaknesses

16 Discuss this with the teachers at your table in relation to teaching to standards.

17 In groups of 3 or 4, design 3 activities or lessons and at least 2 assessments for the following standard. Time permitting, groups will report out – what you created, any thoughts on the process Grade 2 Standard OA.1 Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

18 You need to see the larger picture. You need to focus both on process as well as product/outcomes. The standards are your benchmarks. Think about how you are going to assess the standard as you are planning. Know what your assessments are before you start teaching. I recommend that you look over the modules and use them. Know which standards will reappear later in the year. Planning sheets may be helpful.

19 I recommend doing a longer-range plan and then transferring the activities on to your daily lesson planner. This will allow you to see the bigger picture. Suggestions to include: Subject area Standard(s)/Module # Career Ready Standard(s) CCS Shift: CCS Vocabulary Activities/Lessons for before, during, and re-teaching (consider scaffolding and differentiating) Assessments/Observations



22 SBG is a model of grading which uses a rubric system (1, 2, 3, 4) and is based solely on what the students know and can do. Standards-Based Grading is a refined way of reporting what students know and how they demonstrate their learning of state content standards (Aurora Public Schools in Colorado). SBG is derived from outcomes-based educational practices. A criterion is set up for standards of what every student or child is expected to know (learning), and a score is set compared to these benchmarks rather than a ranking compared to a norm (paraphrased from Wikipedia). SB grades are used as tools to communicate a student’s progress and reflect the student’s level of knowledge (Mount Vernon Public Schools).

23 Standards Based Grading Introduction

24 We use SBG to help us improve student achievement by focusing instruction on standards…what do we want students to know and be able to do? A grade represents a valid and undiluted indicator for what a student knows and is able to do. (Rick Wormeli). The primary purpose of a grade is to communicate student academic achievement. Learning is a dynamic process that generally results in deeper understanding as time progresses.


26 Level 4 – The student can independently and consistently use the knowledge in new ways and in different contexts (transfer). The student may know more than what the standard requires, but this is not always the case - student answers may be more creative, detailed, in depth, and/or sophisticated. Depending on the standard, it may mean that all questions were answered correctly. If a 4 is given for a quarterly/final grade, the student has mastered grade level expectations independently and most grades on the standards taught are 4s. The student is well prepared for the next grade level and will probably need acceleration and enrichment. Exceeds, above grade level

27 Frequency of behavior – all or almost all of the time Requires no support to demonstrate understanding Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the content taught Makes no errors or omissions when demonstrating concepts or processes.

28 Level 3 – This is what we expect of our students. We celebrate and praise 3s!!! The student can independently and consistently demonstrate the standard to expectations. However, the student does not have the level of proficiency, sophistication, transfer, and/or application required for a level 4. If the quarterly/final grade is a 3, the student has mastered grade level standards and is ready for the next grade level. However, there may be a few standards that have not been mastered. Meets expectations, on grade level

29 Frequency of behavior – most of the time Requires no or limited support to demonstrate understanding Demonstrates a general understanding of the content taught Makes a few errors or omissions when demonstrating concepts or processes

30 Level 2 – The student cannot independently demonstrate the skill or standard consistently; teacher/adult support and assistance is needed. NYS says “meeting basic standards”. If a 2 is given as a quarterly/final grade, the student is not mastering many/most grade level standards independently. The student may not ready for the next grade level and will most likely need some additional support and strategies to be successful. Approaching, performing inconsistently

31 Frequency of behavior – some of the time Requires moderate support to demonstrate understanding Demonstrates a partial understanding of the content taught Makes some errors or omissions when demonstrating concepts or processes

32 Level 1 – The student cannot either independently or with support demonstrate the skills in the standard. If a 1 is given as a quarterly /final grade, the student is not mastering grade level standards and most grades on the standards are 1s. This student is definitely not ready for the next grade level and will need intensive support and strategies to make growth. This student may also require referral for special education testing if other strategies aren’t working. Emergent, developing, below grade level

33 Frequency of behavior – seldom or never Requires considerable support but rarely demonstrates learning Demonstrates limited to no understanding of the content taught Makes frequent errors or omissions when demonstrating concepts or processes

34 Olivia's Explanation of the Rubric

35 Level 4 – I’ve got it and I can use it! I can even tell you more about it! Level 3 – I’ve got it! Level 2 – I need some help with this! Level 1 – I just don’t get it!

36 Level 4 – Your child is exceeding expectations for this standard or subject and can demonstrate the knowledge independently, consistently, and in new contexts. Level 3 – Your child is meeting expectations for this standard or subject independently. Level 2 – Your child is only meeting basic standards and is not meeting expectations for this standard or subject independently or consistently. Teacher support is needed. Level 1 – Your child is not meeting expectations for this standard or subject independently or with teacher support.


38 The grades are more meaningful and clearer. What does an 85 tell you? What does a 3 tell you? All students have the opportunity to earn a 4 (high grade). Parents will know exactly what is being taught and how their child is doing on those skills. We can focus more on quality because rubrics are used. Specific feedback must be written on graded work. There is a focus on mastery while giving students time to learn. Less subjective Allows for more consistency across grade levels

39 “No studies support the use of low grades or marks as punishments. Instead of prompting greater effort, low grades more often cause students to withdraw from learning.” T. R. Guskey and J. Bailey

40 The standards are listed on the report card. You can have more focused and clear conversations with parents because the grades are based on standards. The grades are based only on what students know and can do. Grades are never used as punishment. No zeros ever! A child’s strengths and weaknesses are very evident to parents and teachers. Students earn the grade that they should earn based on their knowledge. Nothing else clouds the grades…extra credit, behavior, bad handwriting, etc. It allows students to shine and show talents that are hidden in our current grading system.

41 “The appropriate consequence for failing to complete an assignment is completing the assignment. That is, students lose privileges, free time, and unstructured class or study hall time, and they are required to complete the assignment. The price of freedom is proficiency…” D. B. Reeves

42 Extra credit is not necessary. Formal and informal assessments are referred to as opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning and mastery. Averaging is not needed. Grading on a curve is not necessary (norm referenced). More student buy – in. It more accurately represents real world experience – meeting standards, having time to improve. It makes us rethink consequences. Not cumulative Grades are individual. The grades are a more accurate picture of the student’s current abilities and mastery.

43 “Teachers turn things in late all the time, as do workers in every profession. The idea that you can’t get away with turning work in late in the real world isn’t true.” R. Wormelli


45 “Evaluation experts stress that if you are going to make important decisions about students that have broad implication, such as decisions involved in grading, then you must have good evidence…In the absence of good evidence, even the most detailed grading and reporting system is useless.” T. R. Guskey and J. Bailey

46 Level 4 The standard says the student should be able to write a summary of a book/story that was read. What would a level 4 response look like? A level 4 response could have the following characteristics: longer, more detailed, perfect/near perfect grammar, conventions, and spelling, creativity, incorporates prior learning, deeper vocabulary, correct structure, well organized, invokes feelings in the reader, connects with the reader, audience is acknowledged and known, sophisticated and varied sentence structure. The answer demonstrates skills that possibly have not been taught yet and the answer is better than what is expected at this time in the year. The standard says the student should be able to count to 20. What would a level 4 response look like? A level 4 response could be that the student can count to a much higher number and can manipulate the numbers while counting by using skip counting, starting from different numbers, counting backwards, etc. The student can also apply counting to 20 to solve problems and can explain his/her thinking and strategies when doing so.

47 Level 3 The standard is to count to 30. What would a level 3 look like? The student can do this independently. The student may be able to count a bit higher, but transfer to other settings and the use of the skill in different ways is not present. The response is what we expect. The standard is to explain the difference between 2 characters. What would a level 3 look like? The student can do this, but the answer does not have the detail, clarity, accuracy, creativity, and/or depth of a Level 4 response.

48 Level 2 The standard is to name 4 characteristics of a triangle. What would a level 2 look like? The student can’t do this without teacher/adult support or can only name one or two without support. The standard is to state 3 characteristics of a non-fiction book. What would a level 2 response look like? The student can only list 1 or 2 on their own and needs help to list 3.

49 Level 1 The standard is to use addition to solve problems. What would a level 1 response look like? The student cannot do this either independently or with support. Reteaching, time for practice, extended support, and differentiated strategies are needed.

50 Johnny performs at a level 2 the first time. He is assessed again, and again performs at a level 2. The teacher will keep reteaching and assessing to help him be able to perform at a level 3. However, if it is report card time, he may have a 2. Once he consistently earns a 3 though, the 2 is replaced. Sara performs at a level 2 the first two times she is assessed. However, on the third assessment, she performs at a level 3. The teacher may either accept this or assess her one more time just to make sure she truly has it.

51 Maria performs at a level 3 the first time. Depending on her performance on other activities for this standard, the teacher may accept this or assess again to be certain. Nolan performs at a level 4 on the first assessment. The teacher may either accept this or assess again just to make sure. Generally, each standard should be assessed at least 3 times. But, teachers can use their knowledge of the students’ abilities and the standard to guide them.

52 You will have students who meet the standards/can demonstrate what you want them to know and do. You will have students who don’t meet the standards/can’t or need help demonstrating what you want them to know and do. You will be reteaching and reassessing them. Discussion: What can you do with the students who already “know it” while you’re working with the students who don’t? How will you do it?

53 Talk with the people at your table about this and be ready to share with the group.

54 Once students earn at least a 3 and can demonstrate the content consistently, assessment can stop. A zero is never given. That is a punishment and has nothing to do with what the student knows. Teachers should address the behavior of not completing work in different ways. Don’t penalize students for being absent. Emphasize improvement. Do not take off points for lateness, incomplete work, etc. That should be addressed separately. Do not tell parents that a 4 is not possible because it’s the beginning of the year or that only a few students get a 4.

55 Give students plenty of risk-free practice before assessing. Summative scores should be used mainly, but formative assessments may be considered if meaningful. Never give a student a 2 or a 1 because you are still teaching the standard. That is impossible to defend! Don’t grade it until you have given the student sufficient time and opportunities to demonstrate the content. Doing more does not get students a higher score. Knowing more and demonstrating that does.

56 “By comparing one child’s performance to a clear standard, parents, children and teachers all know precisely what is expected. Every time a student attempts a task, the performance is compared to the standard, not to other children’s performances. The most important advantages for children and families are fairness, clarity, and improved learning.” Doug Reeves

57 Take a look at the student work I have given you. The first set has stories written by kindergartners. The second set has a math problem done by third graders. Work in groups of 3 or 4 to place them into piles by the score (1, 2, 3, or 4) you would give them. Please try not to write on them, I’d like to be able to use them again. Be ready to share your thoughts, observations, and ideas about this process with the group.

58 Writing Standard 2: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative or explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic. Some may be imaginative as well. The teacher also looked for: story and picture match important details in the picture beginning and ending sounds in the words Standard 3.0A Use multiplication within 100 to solve word problems by using drawings or other representations. The answer is 6 and must be apparent. The different cones that could be made must be represented. Math

59 I prefer to call assessments or any assignment that is being graded an “observation”. You will get to make your own rubrics, just like always. The rubrics will vary depending on the standard(s) assessed, the type of test, subject, and number of questions. Use written rubrics for longer assignments. On some standards, a 4 may not be possible. For example, if the standard states that students should be able to write the numbers from 1 – 30, if the student does this it’s a 3. But, you can and should offer level 4 opportunities. For the above standard, you would include more blanks to give students a chance to count higher. If they can, a 4 could be given.


61 Homework is still assigned and considered an integral part of the learning process. Homework is not graded unless it is assigned after a standard has been taught and practiced. Homework on newly taught standards is considered practice, and should be marked so, and comments should be added to let the student and parents know how the student performed (unless the homework is corrected as a class). Grades are not awarded simply for completion. The feedback lets students and parents know the assignment was important. Homework completion can be a part of the behavior or effort grade.

62 Homework for Practice or Preparation of Learning Reflects effort, not mastery of the concepts. Reviews and reinforces skills or knowledge. Gives independent practice for a skill or concept. Allows for mistakes as part of the learning process. Provides background information for upcoming lessons. May be incorporated into the effort grade but not the academic grade. Supports long-term, continuing projects that parallel classwork. Enriches classroom experiences and deepens the students’ understanding. Creates opportunities for problem solving and critical thinking. Integrates and applies different skills and knowledge sets to a task. Expects students to apply previous learning to complete these assignments. May be incorporated into the effort or academic grade. Homework to Integrate Learning

63 What role does homework play in SBG?


65 It is important to look at all the standards for a subject as a whole, without averaging. Teachers should ask themselves: What rubric score represents this students’ overall proficiency in this subject this quarter? The mode is often the appropriate grade, but not always. If some standards haven’t been assessed in awhile and are showing the student to be not proficient, you should reassess or at least have a plan for reassessing in the future and share this with parents. However, key or important standards and your knowledge of the student may be considered and factored into a final grade. The key to this is being able to explain and justify the grades to parents. Comments need to be specific and tied to the standards. Any grade of 1 or 2 must have comments stating why.

66 Jocelyn’s performance on the standards taught: 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 4, 3Final grade: 3 Why? Lisa has mastered most of the standards. On one standard she performed above expectations, but on another she still requires practice and reteaching. However, her overall performance is what we expect. Lisa’s performance on the standards taught: 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4Final grade: ? What do you think? The teacher’s knowledge of the student will come into play here, as well as the importance of each standard. If the key standards are those that Lisa earned a 4 for, her overall grade might be a 4. As a school you might want to come up with a policy regarding this situation. Kyle’s performance on the standards taught: 3, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3Final grade: 3 Why? Kyle has mastered the standards and met expectations. On some of the standards he has demonstrated additional skill, knowledge, and creativity, but overall his performance is what we expect.

67 Isaac’s performance on the standards (key standards are starred): 4*, 2, 4*, 4*, 4, 4*, 2 Final grade: 4 Why? Isaac obviously is performing above grade level on many standards and can use the information and his knowledge in different ways. However, there are a few standards on which he still needs more practice, but this does not affect his overall knowledge and proficiency because he is performing above expectations on the key standards. Interesting to note: averaged the grade would be a 3! Eva’s performance on the standards taught: 2, 2*, 2, 3*, 2*, 3, 3Final grade: 2 Why? Eva has performed at a level 2 on many standards, including two key or important ones. She is not demonstrating that she has overall mastery of the content yet, although she has mastered a few of the standards.

68 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 4, 3 Final grade? ______ 2, 3*, 2, 3*, 2, 2, 3* Final grade? ______ 3, 3, 3*, 4*, 4*, 3, 3* Final grade? ______ 4, 2, 4, 4, 4, 4, 2 Final grade? ______ 3, 3*, 3*, 4*, 4, 4 Final grade? ______ 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3 Final grade? ______ Remember that these grades may differ once knowledge of the student is considered and ample evidence must exist to support the grade.

69 Students are learning how to pack parachutes. Below are 3 students’ grades over a quarter. Jane’s grades – 4, 1, 3, 1, 4, 1, 3 Jim’s grades – 1, 2, 1, 3, 3, 4, 4 Julie’s grades – 4, 3, 4, 3, 1, 2, 1 Let’s answer the following questions and discuss. Who would you want to pack your parachute? If these scores were in a teacher’s grade book, who would be considered proficient and who would not? Why? Is there a discrepancy between your answers to those questions? Why or why not? What implications does this activity demonstrate for grading?


71 Traditional Rely on a textbook to guide instruction Spend majority of time telling – whole group Ask more questions that seek only information. Teach more specific procedures Rely on standards and curriculum maps to guide instruction Spend majority of time facilitating – small group Ask more open-ended and application questions Encourage students to use more problem solving strategies Standards-Based

72 Traditional Don’t provide for as much student interaction and discussion All students learn the same material Ask mostly knowledge level questions Expect students to master concepts in a certain amount of time Provide for a great deal of interacting and discussing Students who have 3s or 4s work on enriching and extension activities Ask more higher level questions Expect students to learn at their own pace and facilitates that Standards-Based

73 Traditional Do a lot of the work alone Focus on getting the right answer Memorize facts for tests Practice procedures Get bored if they already know what’s being taught Do a lot of the work in pairs or groups Use reasoning to justify their work and answers Apply concepts also Solve problems and look for real-world solutions Have opportunities to explore more, use the knowledge, and participate in enrichment activities. Standards-Based

74 Traditional Use pencil, paper, and worksheets most often Show knowledge most often in writing Show answers in one way Use manipulatives, graphic organizers, and games most often Show knowledge in many ways equally Use multiple representations for solutions Standards-Based


76 “The best thing you can do is make sure your grades convey meaningful, accurate information about student achievement. If grades give sound information to students, then their perceptions (and) conclusions about themselves as learners, and decisions about future activity will be the best they can be.” S. Brookhart

77 SBG does not translate to assessment based grading methods. A 4 does not mean an A or 95%. Discourage parents from associating them. If your school is using letter grades or percents, they should be defined in standards based terms. Every student is expected to earn a 3 on each standard, and you should work to help students who earn 1s and 2s to achieve a 3. Reteaching, reassessing. Although 3 is what should be expected and praised, we need to believe that ALL STUDENTS CAN GET A 4 DEPENDING ON THE STANDARD.

78 Give the students “Level 4 Opportunities” whenever possible. Grades should not be averaged. You can (and should) teach multiple standards in your lessons. It is expected that all standards will be covered during the year. With SBG we focus on what we want the student to know and be able to do now. We don’t measure them against where we want them to be at the end of the year. Students are not penalized for the time that it takes them to learn the skills/information in the standard.

79 Students can be more involved in tracking their own progress with charts and through the rubrics. Parents are worried about high school. Though we don’t know what the future holds regarding Catholic high schools accepting SBGs, we do know that SBG will not affect a student’s ability to earn 8 th grade scholarships and high schools give placement tests. SBG has been researched for over 20 years. Don’t let resistance to change interfere with that. - Ken O’Connor

80 You need to keep accurate and detailed records of each student’s performance. These should include anecdotal notes, assessments, and work samples. You need to be able to justify the grades to the parents. Since grades are standard dependent, they may fluctuate from quarter to quarter. All students must complete the work. That keeps the emphasis on LEARNING. Giving zeros/not accepting late work teaches students how to avoid doing the work and accepts lack of motivation. It also denies the students an opportunity to learn!

81 “What information provides the most accurate depiction of students’ learning at this time? In nearly all cases, the answer is “the most current information.” If students demonstrate that past assessment information no longer accurately reflects their learning, that information must be dropped and replaced by the new information. Continuing to rely on past assessment data miscommunicates students’ learning.” T. R. Guskey

82 Grading Gurus: Thomas R. Guskey, Robert J. Marzano, Ken O’Connor, Douglas B. Reeves, Rick Stiggins, Rick Wormelli Do a Google search for Standards Based Grading Handbooks or SB Teacher/Parent Handbooks. Books: Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading: Classroom Strategies that Work, Robert Marzano Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards Based Grading, Thomas R. Guskey Standard Based Teaching: A Classroom Guide, Danielle Elder

83 Please feel free to call or email me if you have questions or want to discuss SBG at your school. 649 – 3369 ext. 120


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