Building Blocks of Standards-Based Grading

20 Jun

Teachable objectives, unpacking standards, learning outcomes, objectives, etc. How do you break them down for your subject when applying standards-based grading? 09-10 was my first year implementing SBG. It was a learning year, so I’m re-evaluating to improve next year. I’m wondering how others break down the entries in the gradebook. Here’s an example from CA Algebra I standard 13.

Standard: Students add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions and functions. Students solve both computationally and conceptually challenging problems by using these techniques.

Gradebook entries we used:

Add rational expressions
Subtract rational expressions
Multiply rational expressions
Divide rational expressions
Solve rational equations

Is this similar to what other people do? I get the feeling my campus might be breaking things down to a minuscule level.  Also, do you weigh everything the same? I’m leaning toward some standards impacting the grade more than others based on the state blueprints. If someone else does this, I’d love to know how. No sense re-inventing the wheel if someone else already did it. If you don’t weigh standards differently, why not? What happens if you break down one standard into many more parts than another? By default, that makes that standard impact the grade more. Should it?


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2 responses to “Building Blocks of Standards-Based Grading

  1. Matt Townsley

    June 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    My strategy in the past has been to narrow my standards (learning target) just enough so that I can create several different similar, but slightly different (vague, yeah I know..) problems to assess students’ understanding of the idea.

    For example, for the learning target “Use the midpoint formula to find the midpoint between two points on the coordinate plane” includes problems with two endpoints…find the midpoint AND problems with an endpoint and the midpoint, find the other endpoint. I’m guessing some people would split these two up. My two cents: as long as there aren’t any surprises on your assessments, you’ve got some freedom to narrow until it makes sense to you and your students.

    • jalzen

      June 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm

      That makes sense. We just have some standards that are ridiculously compacted and can be broken up into something like 8 entries in the gradebook. Good to hear from someone else though.


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