Saturday, March 9, 2013

Grading Policy

Before I started Standards Based Grading, I felt like an accountant.  Giving points here, deducting points there, keeping track of who was absent and how many days they have to make up missed work, and my favorite: arguing with students over every. little. point.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Now my grading policy is simple:  either they know what they're doing or they don't.  My motto since SBG is "Don't grade them until they know what they're doing."

I know I'm oversimplifying things, but I'm not that far off.  Of course there are students who are going to have to test before they know what they're doing.  That's the nature of the beast.  And by beast I don't mean the student, I mean the educational system.  My students' grades are only based on what they know (usually a written test until I have a better plan) rather than their behavior.  Behavior such as putting a cover on their textbook (I don't use a textbook anyway), or attempting an assignment, or even behaving for a substitute teacher.

I've written about my grading policy before and the question that I get the most often is about district grading policies.  I am able to input new grades about once a week, maybe two weeks depending on how long it takes the students to prepare for a test.  But in many districts, there are written policies about updating grades multiple times each week.  Here my answer:  My principal rocks!  He saw that SBG has merit and gave us a chance to prove ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Nora. I'm reminded of a comment you made a couple of PLC meetings back, "I don't feel guilty anymore..." about the grades that students eventually get. No more back and forth with students over points! Love your teaching, learning, and assessment motto -- "don't grade them until they know what they're doing." Bravo!