This category contains 27 posts

SBG One-Minute Student Conferences

My current school works on a trimester system. In fact, most of my classes (and all of my science classes) this year only meet for one trimester. For my grading practices, that has meant having to rethink some of the components that have been most successful for me in the past. I’ve definitely worked on … Continue reading

SBG with Seniors

Here’s the problem with Standards-Based Grading (SBG) and seniors: their first quarter grades matter. In my usual approach to grading, the quarter grades are just snapshots. Since they weren’t (at my old school) and aren’t (at my current school) put on transcripts, I have felt free to use them as moments for students to check … Continue reading

Offside Assessments

Or, No More Cherry Picking (and How to Stop Doing That) The Goal of Standards-Based Grading (SBG): Use standards to give students specific, useful feedback that will help students know what to practice to improve their understanding and performance and you (the teacher) know how to help the students and what to keep testing. The … Continue reading

Physics Objectives 2013

Here are my updated lists of objectives for the year (subject to change/grow as the year unfolds depending on how the pace goes). As always, feel free to borrow and modify these objectives for your own classes. The Model Building page on this blog collects my posts about my paradigm experiments, the graphical representations we use, … Continue reading

May Course Evaluations: Standards-Based Grading Feedback

Part 2 of my May course evaluation reflection is centered on standards-based grading (SBG). I’ve just wrapped up year 2 of this radical change in my assessment philosophy and procedure. It has been a huge success. Instead of posting every response, I will just post the best (in terms of feedback, not necessarily the best … Continue reading

May Course Evaluations: Homework

Now that the year is over, it is time to do the post-game analysis and start making plans for changes for next year. I am thinking about making a few posts that contain some selections from my spring course evaluations and my thinking about the relevant topics. I’m not sure whether these posts are of … Continue reading

SBG Cootie Catcher

Found in the physics classroom this spring: one standards-based grading focused cootie catcher (aka fortune teller, aka a lot of other names, I’m sure—check out the Wikipedia article about these things if you haven’t seen them before). The outside choices: Meet with Ms. O’Shea, Do nothing, Study, Retest on Sunday. The middle layer was blank … Continue reading

Standards-Based Grading in a Points-Based World

My last post (Bundled Objectives, etc) had a comment from Joe Morin this morning with great questions and ideas about how to create an SBG system when you are required to average quarters and exams. I replied to his comment (see below), but I am also hoping to get Joe some more responses with other … Continue reading

Extra Tests, Bundled Objectives, and Changes for Next Year

Exam writing is looming just around the corner (May 30th is the big day this year). In response, I am turning to the traditional writing-procrastination technique: entertaining ideas about possible changes for next year’s classes (procrastinating on writing advising letters two years ago resulted in my moving to standards-based grading in the first place, so it … Continue reading

Update: Managing Extra Tests

At this point (just over 3/4 of the way through), I’ve written 221 extra tests this year for my 44 students. Extra tests are individual tests That’s in addition to the 72 in-class tests so far this year (and the 2 end-of-semester exams). Since I last wrote about keeping track of extra testing, I’ve made … Continue reading


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