Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How we grade SBG style

I'm curious to hear what you guys think.

So we decided on our scales by department and this is the math departments
100% - 4.0 - I can do it well enough to make connections that weren't taught in class
95% - 3.5 - I can do it well enough to make connections that weren't taught in class but I'm not always right about those connections.
90% - 3.0 - I can do everything that was taught without making mistakes.
80% - 2.5 - I can do everything that was taught with a few mistakes.
70% - 2.0 - I can do all of the easy parts but I can't do the harder parts.
65% - 1.5 - I can do some of the easier parts but I make some mistakes.
60% - 1.0 - With help I can do some of what was taught.

To determine what score each student should get we were told we are going to use a 60% passing rate floor.  If you're like me my first response was "huh???"  It was then explained to me that if the students get approx 60% of the questions correct that are a specific level (say level 3) then they will receive that score.  Some of my students are really trying for that A in a few of my classes but not all of them this year are (I've got some interesting students).

What are your thoughts on this process?  What do you guys do?  Any problems that you can think of?  I'm open for all ideas and suggestions.  I'm one of the people that's jumping in head first with all of the Standards Based Grading procedures in my school and I keep telling my students that I love my guinea pigs and that's what they are.


  1. For me, the answer to your question about your grading system seems to depend on how many skills you teach and how broken down these skills are.

    I, for example, taught 17 skills in the first quarter. (I bet someone like Shawn who has these wide topics only had 7 or so.)

    For someone with fewer and more all-encompassing topics, your system seems okay. But for mine, I do it 4/4, 3.5/4, 3/4, 2/4, 1/4, 0/4. Straight up. The reason is because in my system, a 3/4 is someone who makes a nonfatal algebraic error. Well, if that happens in ALL 17 skills, something much larger than "careless errors" is going on. The kid deserves a C. But if it only happens a couple times, it won't really affect the overall quarter grade.

    But if I had something like 7 topics/skills in a quarter, I would have my rubric be more like yours...

    Does that make sense?


  2. I go with the same 4.0 and words attached but not the percentages. For me, it's you've got to get 100% at each level to get that score. Because otherwise it's not giving you enough information. 2.0 means you can do 100% of the 2.0 stuff every single time. 70% of the time doesn't tell you what is missing in that other 30%. Let me know if that doesn't make any sense or if I'm misinterpreting your percentages.