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I’ve always graded assignments the way pretty much every other high school teacher does so, and without much thought about what those letters and numbers really mean. In reality, they mean nothing. I think I’m pretty good at assessing where my students are and what they need, but the assignments I give and record grades for, if I’m being honest, rarely reflect that. More often they reflect how hard a student worked (or didn’t), and sometimes only whether or not they bothered to put pen to paper. Even if an assignment’s grade does reflect to what extent they have mastered my objectives (and hopefully the standards, if I’ve been intentional), that one grade never reflects to what extent my students mastered the each of the several standards one assessment can generally measure.
This led me to the idea of standards-based grading. When I Googled the term, I was led to hundreds of thousands of websites, almost all of them focused on elementary school. I’m used to this as a high school teacher. I also found that many schools using this have special grading programs that account for it. So that I could track individual student mastery of the standards and have my gradebook reflect that, I created some record keeping documents.
Here is how you can use the documents in this kit:
• The Excel spreadsheet is meant to be a “Class-at-a-Glance” document. All of the 11th and 12th grade ELA Common Core State Standards run down the page, while students names run across it. Each standard has space for three assessments. For each assessment tied to a particular standard, assign an A, P, B or BB (or language of your choice). You can quickly see which standards you have not assessed, and which ones certain groups of students—or the majority of the class—need more work with. The spreadsheet is formatted with frozen panes to make scrolling down the standards and across the students easy.
• In this document is a page of return address labels (Avery 8667) with each standard number (RL.2) printed on them. Print one page for each student. Once you feel a student has mastered a standard, peel off the corresponding label and affix it to the assessment as evidence. You can then place that evidence in the student’s section of your data notebook. I like using labels in this way because I can quickly see which standards a particular student has not mastered just by the number of labels remaining on their page.
Full instructions included.
I hope these documents save you time with data collection and help you actually USE the data you do collect!