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Standards-Based Grading in the Science Classroom. How do I make my grading support student learning? Ken Mattingly Julie Phillips Standards-based Grading. How do I make my grading: Meaningful? Defensible?

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Standards-Based Grading in the Science Classroom

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Standards-Based Grading in the Science Classroom

How do I make my grading support student learning?

Ken Mattingly

Julie Phillips

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Standards-based Grading

  • How do I make my grading:

    • Meaningful?

    • Defensible?

    • Student motivating?

    • Teacher friendly?

    • Infinite Campus compatible?

    • Administration approved?

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Our Job…

  • To show you how a standards-based grading system works.

  • To show you how standards-based grading can improve student motivation and performance

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We will do that by…

  • Sharing examples of formative and summative assessments that focus on learning targets.

  • Presenting a method for using learning targets as the structure for a standards-based grading scale.

  • Sharing examples of student opportunities to demonstrate target mastery that allows them to take ownership of their learning.

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Rockcastle County Middle School

  • 625 students grades 6-8

  • 2 teams per grade level

  • 70% Free and reduced lunch

  • 2007 AI – 95, 2008 AI – 98, 2009 AI – 105

  • Science P+D%:

    • 2007: 70

    • 2008: 73

    • 2009: 84

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Guidelines for Grading in Standards-Based Systems

  • Relate grading procedures to learning goals (targets)

  • Use criterion-referenced performance standards as references points to determine grades

  • Limit the valued attributes included in grades to individual achievement

  • Sample student performance – do not include all scores in grades

  • Grade in pencil – keep records so they can be updated easily

  • Crunch numbers carefully – if at all

  • Use quality assessments and properly recorded evidence of achievement

  • Discuss and involve students in assessment, including grading, throughout the teaching/learning process

    • Ken O’Connor, How to Grade for Learning, p. 44

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Standards-based Grading in a Nutshell

  • Focuses on whether students know what you want them to know

  • Provides opportunities for variable learning paces

  • Rewards students who continue to try mastering the information/concepts

  • Gives a clear indication of what students know and don’t know

  • Gives a clear picture of where your instruction is being effective/ineffective

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The Backbone of a Good Standards-based system?

  • Learning Targets that are:

    • Clear to all stakeholders

    • Communicated to students

    • Measured regularly

    • Adjustments to learning made

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Student Friendly Learning Target Example

  • Standard: SC-07-4.6.2 Students will:

    • describe the transfer and/or transformations of energy which occur in examples that involve several different forms of energy (e.g., heat, electrical, light, motion of objects and chemical).

    • Explain, qualitatively or quantitatively, that heat lost by hot object equals the heat gained by cold object.

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Student Friendly Learning Target Example

  • I can give examples of energy.

  • I can give examples of energy transfer. That means when energy is moved from one object to another.

  • I can give examples of energy transformations. That means when energy is changed from one form to another form.

  • I can describe the exchange of energy between hot objects and cold objects.

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Clear, Student-friendly Targets

  • Turn knowledge, skill, reasoning, and product pieces into “I can” target statements.

  • Targets should use student-friendly language.

  • Targets should be attainable.

  • Provide clear, stationary targets for students to aim at and they will hit them.

  • Give students a copy of learning targets for the unit.

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Students who can identify what they are learning significantly outscore those who cannot.

  • Robert Marzano

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  • Formative

    • Tied to how student is doing on a particular target

    • Use to identify growth areas and show how to close the mastery gap

    • Generally not included in grading of target mastery

  • Summative

    • Includes assessment items for all targets in a unit

    • Diagnoses strengths and weaknesses of student

    • Provides road map for attaining target mastery

    • Determines current performance on targets

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Using Targets for Post-Assessment Development

  • Matching the assessment method to the type of target.

  • Determining adequate sampling size.

  • Assessment format considerations: open response vs. multiple-choice, time constraints

  • Quality of questions, information value of incorrect answers

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Summative Feedback

  • Before using targets: score 65%

    • Student knows what questions they got right/wrong

    • Kept the score and went on, maybe reviewed, but still went on

    • No diagnosis of problems and ways to address them – perhaps taking a test again but no plan as to what to focus on

    • No idea on student or teacher’s part of strengths and weaknesses

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Summative Feedback

  • After using targets: score 65%

    • Get results broken out by target

    • Students know what they do well and what they need to work on

    • Students have opportunities to work on identified targets and gain understanding before trying again to show mastery

    • Diagnostic tool to show strengths and weaknesses by student and class

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  • Students have received summative assessment results by target

  • Identify targets needing improvement

  • Work on target practice in preparation for re-testing

  • Re-test only over identified targets

  • Evaluate results, rinse, and repeat!

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Our Grading Format

  • All assessments, formative and summative, are based on learning targets

  • Students’ grades are based on how well they show mastery of learning targets

  • Behaviors are not factored into grade unless the behavior is an identified and communicated learning target

  • Students are aware of targets being assessed

  • Students are given multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of targets

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No Grades for…

  • Homework

  • Activities

  • Class work

  • Behavior

  • Quizzes

  • Formative assessments

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Learning Target Performance Criterion

  • Student performance is divided into three categories

    • Basic

    • Developing

    • Mastery

  • Students receive a score of 1, 2, or 3 for each target depending on their performance

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Summative Assessment

  • Provides itemized feedback on performance per learning target

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Why Do We Need a Grade?

  • They will be around for a while

  • Parents expect and “understand” them

  • Students need something to compare their learning to

  • Communities are not ready for “no grades”

  • Administrators are not ready for “no grades” 

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So Where’s the Grade?

  • Total points possible for each target is 3

  • Total points for unit is number of targets times 3

  • Students total points earned divided by total unit points gives percentage

  • All 2’s (developing) = 67% D

  • ½ 2’s and ½ 3’s = 83% low B

  • All 3’s (mastery) = 100% A

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  • Opportunities for re-teaching

    • Reviewing test results

    • Learning target practice

    • Classroom time

  • Re-test by target

    • Targets receiving 1’s must be worked on

    • Targets receiving 2’s can be worked on

  • Results on re-test provide information for further narrowing of mastery gap

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Infinite Campus

  • Targets are entered as different assignments

  • Assignment is given a name “Ecosystem Learning Target #1”

  • Assignment description contains the target statement

  • Each assignment is worth a maximum of 3 points

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Infinite Campus Information

  • Section Summary report gives a great deal of information

  • Reading across a student line tells how the student is doing on each target

  • Reading down the learning target column tells how the class is doing per target

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Today’s Take Home Message on Standards-Based Grading

  • Students are graded on their mastery of standards (learning targets)

  • There are communicable levels of performance leading to mastery

  • Only mastery of standards is included on grade calculation

  • Students receive multiple opportunities to show mastery of standards

  • Standards-based grading gives students the chance to take ownership of their performance

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