Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reflections on 1st year with SBG

This year has been amazing for me and I attribute most of the success to SBG.  For those new to the acronym game; SBG stands for Standards Based Grading.  I think my version is not exactly what experts would call SBG but it worked for me! 

The simple act of clarifying exactly what I want the students to know and be able to do, for me and for them, lead to a paradigm shift in my whole teaching philosophy! 
This is what I've been searching for my whole 13 year career.

I liken it to my first year with modeling - once you start and see the power, you can never go back!  Frankly, its just like taking the "blue pill".

The mechanics of what I did this year:
- wrote out and displayed standards for each unit/topic on the board
- wrote new, short and specific, assessments for each unit/topic with each question related to specific standards (or a specific standard)
- graded the students on their proficiency with each standard
- allowed all students the opportunity to reassess for grade improvement

This allowed each conversation about grades to be about how well they performed with a given standard instead of about points or letter grades or "points".
As a result the kids' FCI gains went up and are some of the highest of my career!

If you're thinking about it, I say TAKE THE PLUNGE!  It will transform your teaching.


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