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Monday, September 6, 2010

Standards Based Grading Begins

Last week was our first week with students at Cold Lake HS. Our entire math department has decided we are going to start to make the transition to standards based grading. We started our journey last school year by meeting with assessment specialist Deana Senn. She did an awesome job of helping us to understand Assessment for Learning and Assessment of Learning. We then took the next leap and began looking at the outcomes in our NEW Math 10 Common curriculum. This curriculum is new starting Sept.2010.

We spent approximately 4 months rewriting the curriculum outcomes in student friendly language. The result of our work is this document.

We have broken these outcomes down into units and during each unit we will be exposing our students to the outcomes for that unit. Here is what we gave our students for unit 1 on Radicals and Exponents.

After one week I am preparing to give my first assessment to my students. It is a quiz but has a twist. After the students write the quiz and I grade it the students have a self-assessment rubric to complete. Thanks to Deana Senn for helping me polish up the rubric. The purpose of this rubric is to help the students identify where their weaknesses are and what they need to continue working on. I did not come up with this rubric on my own. I "borrowed" it from Matt Towsley's materials from his summer course on Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading.

Stay tuned and follow myself and my dept. on our standards based grading journey. Feel free to provide us with some feedback and guidance. We welcome it!!!


  1. Looks good. What are you guys using for a grades program? What does your course evaluation look like? Will you enter all the outcomes into the program and grade each one individually? Or will you have it broken into assignments, quizzes, exams, etc.?

  2. Hi Terry,

    Thanks for sharing your start up ideas for the math 10 course. I too am starting SBG in my math 9 adapted class this year and would have loved to had the entire department join in but initially I'll be going it alone. Just curious, how has your dept. decided to come up with the report card marks. Currently that is the one thing that I haven't completely nailed down quite yet. I'm considering 20% for the comprehensive final and the remainder is coming from the mastery level scores and a few projects. Thanks again for sharing and I look forward to reading about your journey!

  3. For report card marks we plan to input the grades by outcome. So, when I assess whether students can find GCF or LCM that will be listed as an outcome and if they score 5/8 then that will be their mark for that outcome. The more important outcomes will have more marks assigned to them.

    Unit exams make up 70% of the student grade, assignments/quizzes make up 30% of final grade. Our final exam is worth 30% of student grade.

    Once I have more grades in my grade book I will try to publish electronic copies for everyone to see how it works.