SBG Conference Report/Reflection

A team from my middle school attended the SBG conference put on by Grant Wood AEA in Coralville, Iowa on March 23, 2016. Tom Guskey was the main presenter. Here are a few takeaways from his talk about standards based grading:

“Feedback needs to be immediate”

“What best describes the student’s level of proficiency at this time?”

“Get rid of percentages.”

“Report cards need to have a purpose.”

“Why do we use report cards and assign grades to students work?”

“Consistent rubric across school.”

“What’s the purpose of the grade?”

“Teach, Reteach, Formatively Assess”

“Homework is only meaningful if it is checked (not graded); homework without feedback is pointless.”

“Weighting grades is just another case of educator malpractice.”

“No second chances?? Surgeons practice on cadavers, pilots practice in simulators but we give students one chance to do well on a test.”

Theses are some resources from the conference: This website is the program from the day. If you click on each description it will give you another link for the presenters materials. This link is Tom Guskey’s presentation from the day.!resources/c1qa6 This link is a great resource too. This site is a goldmine of resources and videos for SBG.

I found listening to Tom Guskey very enlightening. I have been using SBG for at least 5 to 6 years and I went away from this conference rethinking a few things that I already do or did at one time in my classroom. For instance, a year ago I would allow students who earned a 4 on a formative assessment learning target not to test that learning target on the summative. I did away with that and now require that students test all learning targets on the summative. I am not sure yet what I will do for next year. I heard about some other options that you might give students for retesting that I hadn’t thought about before (ex. watch youtube videos, do more practice problems, note cards, online practice quizzes, explain the topic/concept to you….) . I know that this summer one thing I want to do is revamp my retake policy and options for students to retake assessments.

My district starting transitioning to standards based grading about four years ago. I think we have done a good job of changing over from traditional grading to standards based grading but we still have some teachers who are not on board all the way. I think that as a district we need to be consistent in using a rubric. We have come a long way but now have some tweaking that we need to do to make sure that we are better than good but awesome at standards based grading. I also think that we need to find resources (help) for those departments that are struggling with changing to standards based grading.

Overall I am very thankful that my administration allowed me to be apart of the team that attended the SBG conference.

If you are on Twitter check out #iasbg and #sblchat.


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About martinsarah

7th grade math teacher in Iowa

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middle school math


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