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									Standards-Based Grading in
  the Science Classroom
 How do I make my grading support
        student learning?

                 Ken Mattingly

                   Julie Phillips
      Standards-based Grading
• How do I make my
  – Meaningful?
  – Defensible?
  – Student motivating?
  – Teacher friendly?
  – Infinite Campus
  – Administration
               Our Job…
1. To show you how a
   grading system
2. To show you how
   grading can improve
   student motivation
   and performance
        We will do that by…
1. Sharing examples of formative and summative
   assessments that focus on learning targets.
2. Presenting a method for using learning targets
   as the structure for a standards-based grading
3. Sharing examples of student opportunities to
   demonstrate target mastery that allows them to
   take ownership of their learning.
      Rockcastle County Middle
•   625 students grades 6-8
•   2 teams per grade level
•   70% Free and reduced lunch
•   2007 AI – 95, 2008 AI – 98, 2009 AI – 105
•   Science P+D%:
    – 2007: 70
    – 2008: 73
    – 2009: 84
         Guidelines for Grading in
        Standards-Based Systems
• Relate grading procedures to learning goals (targets)
• Use criterion-referenced performance standards as
  references points to determine grades
• Limit the valued attributes included in grades to individual
• Sample student performance – do not include all scores in
• Grade in pencil – keep records so they can be updated
• Crunch numbers carefully – if at all
• Use quality assessments and properly recorded evidence
  of achievement
• Discuss and involve students in assessment, including
  grading, throughout the teaching/learning process
             » Ken O’Connor, How to Grade for Learning, p. 44
    Standards-based Grading in a
• Focuses on whether students know what you
  want them to know
• Provides opportunities for variable learning
• Rewards students who continue to try mastering
  the information/concepts
• Gives a clear indication of what students know
  and don’t know
• Gives a clear picture of where your instruction is
  being effective/ineffective
     The Backbone of a Good
     Standards-based system?
• Learning Targets that are:
  – Clear to all stakeholders
  – Communicated to students
  – Measured regularly
  – Adjustments to learning made
 Student Friendly Learning Target
• Standard: SC-07-4.6.2 Students will:
  – describe the transfer and/or
    transformations of energy which occur in
    examples that involve several different
    forms of energy (e.g., heat, electrical, light,
    motion of objects and chemical).
  – Explain, qualitatively or quantitatively, that
    heat lost by hot object equals the heat
    gained by cold object.
 Student Friendly Learning Target
1. I can give examples of energy.
2. I can give examples of energy transfer. That
   means when energy is moved from one object
   to another.
3. I can give examples of energy transformations.
   That means when energy is changed from one
   form to another form.
4. I can describe the exchange of energy
   between hot objects and cold objects.
  Clear, Student-friendly Targets
• Turn knowledge, skill, reasoning, and
  product pieces into “I can” target statements.
• Targets should use student-friendly
• Targets should be attainable.
• Provide clear, stationary targets for students
  to aim at and they will hit them.
• Give students a copy of learning targets for
  the unit.
Students who can identify what they are
  learning significantly outscore those who
                                    – Robert Marzano
• Formative
  – Tied to how student is doing on a particular target
  – Use to identify growth areas and show how to close
    the mastery gap
  – Generally not included in grading of target mastery
• Summative
  –   Includes assessment items for all targets in a unit
  –   Diagnoses strengths and weaknesses of student
  –   Provides road map for attaining target mastery
  –   Determines current performance on targets
        Using Targets for
  Post-Assessment Development
• Matching the assessment method to the
  type of target.
• Determining adequate sampling size.
• Assessment format considerations: open
  response vs. multiple-choice, time
• Quality of questions, information value of
  incorrect answers
      Summative Feedback
• Before using targets: score 65%
  – Student knows what questions they got
  – Kept the score and went on, maybe reviewed,
    but still went on
  – No diagnosis of problems and ways to
    address them – perhaps taking a test again
    but no plan as to what to focus on
  – No idea on student or teacher’s part of
    strengths and weaknesses
      Summative Feedback
• After using targets: score 65%
  – Get results broken out by target
  – Students know what they do well and what
    they need to work on
  – Students have opportunities to work on
    identified targets and gain understanding
    before trying again to show mastery
  – Diagnostic tool to show strengths and
    weaknesses by student and class
• Students have received summative
  assessment results by target
• Identify targets needing improvement
• Work on target practice in preparation for
• Re-test only over identified targets
• Evaluate results, rinse, and repeat!
         Our Grading Format
• All assessments, formative and summative, are
  based on learning targets
• Students’ grades are based on how well they
  show mastery of learning targets
• Behaviors are not factored into grade unless the
  behavior is an identified and communicated
  learning target
• Students are aware of targets being assessed
• Students are given multiple opportunities to
  demonstrate mastery of targets
            No Grades for…
•   Homework
•   Activities
•   Class work
•   Behavior
•   Quizzes
•   Formative assessments
    Learning Target Performance
• Student performance is divided into three
  – Basic
  – Developing
  – Mastery
• Students receive a score of 1, 2, or 3 for
  each target depending on their
• Provides
  feedback on
  performance per
  learning target
  Why Do We Need a Grade?
• They will be around for a while
• Parents expect and “understand” them
• Students need something to compare their
  learning to
• Communities are not ready for “no grades”
• Administrators are not ready for “no
  grades” 
So Where’s the Grade?
• Total points possible for each target is 3
• Total points for unit is number of targets
  times 3
• Students total points earned divided by
  total unit points gives percentage
• All 2’s (developing) = 67% D
• ½ 2’s and ½ 3’s = 83% low B
• All 3’s (mastery) = 100% A
• Opportunities for re-teaching
  – Reviewing test results
  – Learning target practice
  – Classroom time
• Re-test by target
  – Targets receiving 1’s must be worked on
  – Targets receiving 2’s can be worked on
• Results on re-test provide information for
  further narrowing of mastery gap
           Infinite Campus
• Targets are entered as different
• Assignment is given a name “Ecosystem
  Learning Target #1”
• Assignment description contains the target
• Each assignment is worth a maximum of 3
   Infinite Campus Information
• Section Summary report gives a great deal
  of information
• Reading across a student line tells how
  the student is doing on each target
• Reading down the learning target column
  tells how the class is doing per target
    Today’s Take Home Message on
       Standards-Based Grading
• Students are graded on their mastery of
  standards (learning targets)
• There are communicable levels of performance
  leading to mastery
• Only mastery of standards is included on grade
• Students receive multiple opportunities to show
  mastery of standards
• Standards-based grading gives students the
  chance to take ownership of their performance

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