Exploratory Wheel: Computers 6th

Monday, October 28th

Standard-Based Grading vs Traditional Grading

Most of us grew up with a grading system that rewarded points for almost anything a student did related to school--homework, classwork, participation, effort, even behavior! Tests were administered after the chapter, or unit, had been taught, and teachers might not know if a child understood these concepts until that time. A report card may or may not have reflected what standards/skills your child had mastered. The recent shift towards standards-based grading is designed to inform you about your child's progress towards specific learning standards/skills for their grade level. This grading system ranks students' understanding of a specific standard/skill in numbers from 1 to 4, with detailed descriptors for each numerical value as it relates to a particular standard. The emphasis in the classroom is for teachers to write clear learning goals and inform students about their academic "target" and what they need to know or be able to do in order to rank a 4, a 3, a 2, or a 1. In the next paragraph, you will see some examples of what a typical scale might look like.

Sample Proficiency Scale

Click on this link to see a sample of a scale for the Common Core English Language Arts Standard for central theme, as described below. You can easily see how detailed the descriptors are and how much more informative it is.

This week's web picks....

"The purpose of grades is to communicate achievement." D. Conley


"Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions."

Although this video is from a ninth-grade class, you can see how a teacher might develop a lesson to guide students to show mastery of this standard. (We use to call this "main idea".) Today's students must not only determine the "central theme" or summary of a text, but they are required to show evidence for those claims in writing. This is considered a "high-level" thinking skill and must be emphasized at all levels to prepare students for college and twenty-first century careers.