SBG and HW

SBG and HW is one of those hot topics for those discussing SBG so, of course, I will throw out my two sense.  I heard one of my co-workers put it like this:  HW is intended to have students practice what they have learned.  They should want to do this since we all know the more you try something, the better you will get.  I am not talking about 20 problems for HW, more like 5 – 10 problems.  This is enough to know if they are getting the concept or are way off without feeling like they wasted their time.

I choose to keep track of HW in a completion check list.  If they did it – I would check it in.  If they did not do their HW I would still expect them to do it – but I will not hand hold them to my room after school.  If they want or need help, my middle school student should really proactive enough to come and see me!

For parents, having a record of what HW was done and what was not, I am able to have conversations with parents that tell the there child has a certain grade on a standard because they did not do their HW or see me for help.  My grades are based on standards.  Just because we gave a quiz each week, does not mean they was their grade.  Most of the quizzes had 2,3, or 4 standards being graded on it.  AND they would see a standard two weeks in a row.  That way they could improve their standard grade.

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July 18 – Teacher must have items for the beginning of the year:  I always have to get a nice new grade book and a calendar for basic planning/layout.  I must get a new desk calendar and usually some sort of organizer (for God knows what…) and probably something for my homeroom (pencils/erasers/etc).  Then I must buy a bunch of senseless stuff from the $1 section of Target or Dollar Tree that I will probably never use. :/

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Standards Based Grading

First – HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!  Hope everyone had a great and safe holiday!

Second – Standards Based Grading…

For the second half of the school year my grade level counterpart and I decided to give SBG a try.  2 other math teachers in our building had started it at the beginning of the year and we talked to them to get some ideas before jumping in.  This is where I am at so far with this process.

We discussed it with our students and explained that they will be given quizzes every Thursday.  The quizzes will be assessing the recent standards covered and then graded from 5 to 10 out of 10.  To get a 5 they would have basically turned in a paper with nothing on it.  6 and 7 would mean that they are in need of some help on that standard.  An 8 would mean that they are almost there.  A 9 or 10 would mean that they understand the standard.  Homework would begone over and checked in, but not included as part of their grade.  It was still important to complete HW so that they each felt confident for the weekly quizzes.  This way if they say they do not know how to do something on a quiz and that is why they got a low grade on the quiz, I can look back in my gradebook to see if they had been competing their HW.  IF they have not, I can tell them that is why they did not do well.  The other teacher I work with started using Class Dojo to help her keep track of who did their HW and who did not.

This year our district would like to see the middle schools move to solely SBG.  I know this will be a tough push at first, but hopefully we can all see the benefit of this!  Many of our students are struggling, SBG allows for that to happen and not let students sneak by because they can “play school” and get good grades.  We have seen a higher correlation between SBG and other tests given in the year.

Hope this helps many people who are skeptical about SBG and yet want to give it a try this year!

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