The Plastic Brain

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Assessments: The Collateral Damage of SBG

A interesting read on using Standards-Based Grading. As a teacher in an IB school I routinely assess against standards (achievement levels), but reading this gave me greater insight into the process, and inspiration to delve a little deeper into my assessment practices.

Mathy McMatherson

Fair Warning: This post took a month to write. It’s long. It’s involved. It’s also a meditation on my entire year trying to implement a Standards-Based Grading (SBG) system and what that even means. But first, an introduction.

Why It’s Important to Think About Assessment & SBG: My classroom is a game that my students play. I set the rules by how I allow them to succeed or fail in my class. If I’ve done it right, then the rules I set should motivate genuine learning and reflect that knowledge in the form of a ‘grade’. In my experiences as an observer in ‘good’ classrooms and ‘bad’ classrooms, the most reliable way to measure this is through independent performance on consistent evaluative assessments balanced with frequent feedback in the form of formative assessments. So, I need my tests and quizzes to be the focus of the ‘game’ that is my…

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