To Accumulate a Rate — Integrate!

Teaching High School Mathematics

First assessment with SBG

I gave my first SBG assessment yesterday, and I felt pretty good about it. It took a little bit to grade, but not much more than normal.

Things I love so far:
1. Giving feedback without putting a “-1” or “-2” by the problem.
2. Giving a score out of 4 to indicate a level of understanding on a set of problems addressing the same standard.
3. Not giving them a grade for homework that may or may not be correct.
4. Students get a score based on their understanding of the standards in the class, period.
5. Students get a clear understanding of where they are at on each standard when they get an assessment back.

Things I’m not sure about:
1. Students still want to know how it will affect their grade.
2. Students are still asking how they can improve their score.
— I’m hoping they will want to improve their understanding.
3. Not giving them a grade for their homework, and they may stop doing it.
4. How to make skyward work the way I want it. I changed the percentages, but it won’t do the all scores need to be 3 or higher to get an A thing that I want. — I guess by hand at the end.
5. Reassessments and how much time they’ll take. How many times to let them reassess.
6. Should I allow them to reassess even tough that standard will come up on another assessment soon?
7. Can I sell this to parents on curriculum night.
8. I hate saying assessment kind of like I hate saying Tall, Grande, and Venti at Starbucks.

Here is my assessment from yesterday. Am I doing this right?

Theses are a couple of the students in the middle to lower end.

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5 comments on “First assessment with SBG

  1. Paul Gitchos
    September 21, 2012

    Thanks for your post. There are so many ways SBG makes sense, to keep kids focused on learning instead of point-accumulation. I have run into some of the same issues you mention, and wish you luck. In particular, SBG + Skyward = ?

    I currently use the “Standards Gradebook” in Skyward and have the Skills as broad categories, or power standards. (Example: Understand and use the mathematical definition of limit; recognize or explain its importance in relation to calculus and continuity.) I try to have only 6 or so of these per class. Then, under these headings I put what Skyward calls “events” – these are specific skills like “I can calculate limits analytically.”

    The two biggest problems with Skyward I’ve run into are 1) It just REALLY wants to convert from 1-4 to a percent then to a grade, and even if you tweak the grade scale kids are still seeing a grade and percent every time they look at the class. And 2) If a kid shows improvement in a skill through additional assessment, you either have to enter a new event and keep the old score, or overwrite it and lose the data. A program like ActiveGrade is designed to show trends in the same area over time; Skyward is not.

    Good luck on your journey. If you can avoid using Skyward, do so! If, like me, you don’t have a choice, then hopefully you have access to a friendly Skyward-expert admin person. I will be interested to see how you make the program work for you.

    • kaleb40
      September 21, 2012

      Thanks for the comment. Those are exactly the problems I’m having with skyward. I’m planning on just having all my standards as assignments and putting an old score in the comments section if it get’s changed.

  2. Ellen
    September 22, 2012

    This is the first time I hear from SBG (and googling didn’t exactly help to make it clearer for me). Do you have a link with further information for me? Would be absolutely wonderful 🙂

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