Using SBG with a Traditional Grading System

I started using standards based grading last school year and this year I am continuing to implement it. (you can read more here) While it is starting to catch on with more teachers in my school, we are still using a grade system based on percents (94-100 is an A, 85-93 is a B, etc). I have had to find ways to get creative with how to implement SBG with these constraints. One thing I have to do is use a rubric that is based on 10 instead of 3 or 4, like most SBG systems. Another downside to our traditional system is there is not a great way to give feedback to parents on "learner characteristics," you know, the stuff that isn't specifically math.

I've been trying different ideas. One idea I had was to give a separate report, stapled to the report card, that gives some more information besides the single letter grade printed on the report card. I want parents to see how their child is doing with each of the different standards as well as some feedback on learner characteristics.

Today in class I am going to have the students color code the standards based on their current level of understanding (grade). I am going to fill in a score, according to the rubric, for the learner characteristics. Then I will staple the report to the report card. Finally, I plan to have students tab some important work in their interactive notebooks. During report card pick up, I will have the interactive notebooks as well as the report to show parents. If they have questions, I like to have students explain it to them first, with me there to help, of course.

Hopefully doing all this will help make students more accountable for their learning as well as help to educate parents how SBG works.


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