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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Standards Based Grading - Oberservations

So, today I returned the graded quizzes to my Math 10 common students. Some were happy with their "grade" others were not. Then I had them turn to the self-assessment rubric on the back side of their quiz. I gave them a few minutes to rate themselves on how they performed on each outcome. I was amazed at how serious most of the students took the task. Then they had to explain why they gave themselves the rating they chose. Finally, I asked them to write a sentence or 2 about how they were going to try to improve on the outcomes they did not perform well on.

I had them hand this in so I could read what they wrote. Here are some of their comments:

"I need to do my homework."
"I am going to go back, re-read my notes and do some of the questions in our workbook that were not originally assigned."
"I am going to ask my mom if she can find me a tutor."
"Keep doing what I have been doing because I kicked butt on this quiz!!!"

The students pretty much nailed it on the head. Their reflections and observations were pretty much what I would have told them.

This whole exercise took less than 10 minutes. Getting the students to reflect on their performance in relation to the outcomes of the course was well worth it.

I am glad our entire math dept. has decided to try out standards based grading. Our students will be better for it.


  1. How can students focus more on their strengths ("do more of this!") rather than on what did not work?

  2. The whole reason for having the students complete the self evaluation is to help them determine what they "have not learned yet". We are trying to help our students understand what they need to do to improve.

    Part of trying to improve is determining what has worked and not worked. We discuss that in our classes and help students to realize that they need to do more of "what worked".

  3. Terry-
    I am glad that the self-reflection went well. It is wonderful to see students give thoughtful consideration to what steps they need to take in order to achieve the standard!