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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Am I really thinking this?

So yesterday Frank Noschese found my blog and made a comment. As is good blogging manners I surfed over to his page and opened a can of worms. The can was so big that I was up until well after 2 reading blog after blog.

I have struggled for years with my grading policies. Every year it is something different. Straight points? Percentages? How heavily should I weight assignments? I had stumbled across Standard based grading before and thought it seemed like a good idea but I just couldn't see how it could work. Well thanks to Frank, now I can. So the question remains, am I really thinking this?

What is wrong with my brain that I would even contemplate starting modeling and standard-based grading all at the same time? And yet they would fit SO WELL together. I am hoping common sense prevails. There is always next year for standard based grading.

If any of you want to learn more about Standards based grading check out Shawn Cornally's site. He does a great job of laying it out. Then click back to Frank's site here where he gives a bunch of resources to implement it in the physics classroom. You are a cruel one Frank to tempt me so.


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  2. I may have to stop reading your blog. Too many interesting ideas! Here in the 11th hour, I'm seriously considering implementing SBG too.

    I've been thinking about something like this for the last couple of years for physics, but have not found something that will do what I want. I have been troubled by the situation, all too common, where the kinematics equations kids struggled to use in October are second nature in December. It doesn't seem fair for the 65% they scored on the kinematics test to still be a part of their grade.

    Now I have to figure out how I can make this work in Zangle...

  3. It just makes so much sense doesn't it? I really want to do it. However, we just switched to PowerSchool this year and while most of the functionality seems similar to what I previously used I am hesitant to start this new system until I am more familiar with the program. Parents can log on and almost instantly see any changes I make to my gradebook. Without really figuring this out beforehand I think it will be a mess. I think I will push this off to second semester if I use it at all this year.

    If you decide to do it, post back here and tell me how you implemented it. I'd be interested to read about it!

  4. I'll let you guys lead the way on this. I've been reading a bit about it myself as well, but so far have been resisting it. Too much other new stuff to do this year.

  5. I wanted to thank you so much for writing this blog. I am going to implement the modeling method as best I can this coming school year with out attending a workshop. I know, it is not ideal to say the least. I just can't teach the same way knowing that there is something way better that I could try. So I downloaded all I could from the ASU website, and am soaking up all I can from the net. I wish I could attend a workshop, but with a 2 year-old at home it is impossible for me. I hope to somehow get a workshop here in southern California in the near future. That would just rock.

    Until then, this will have to do. Your posts are saying exactly what I'm thinking. I have had the same troubles with my grading procedures and just found Frank's blog too. SBG sounds so interesting, but 2 big changes in one year frightens me. I can't wait to read on to see how this panned out for you.

    Thank you again for taking the time to make a blog, it really does help at least one other teacher.

    -Chija Bauer
    La Salle High School

  6. Good luck to you Chija. Modeling is not something I would really try to undertake without taking a workshop. You really have to see the process and experience how a good modeler conducts the class. I would recommend checking out Scott Thomas's Blog: Salt The Oats. He is taking the workshop right now and blogging about each days' experiences. Again, I don't think reading about it is as effective as being there but it may give you a bit more insight into the method. For SBG I'd recommend Shawn Cornally's site Think Thank Thunk. It is one of the best I have found for sketching out the basics. Thanks for the comment!