SBG: The Assessments

Disclaimers: I did not invent Standards Based Grading, I did not come up with this system 100% on my own, I was/am a huge advocate for it in classrooms, and I do love Dan Meyers. Also, this is all my opinion. I will site things when necessary so you know I am not just making things up. Check my other posts!



Check out the rest of my Standards Based Grading posts!

Scheduling: For my Algebra 1 Classes in the 2012-2013 year, I had 53 “concepts” that I assessed them on.  At the beginning of each quarter I gave them a schedule that had what we would be learning, and when, as well as when all the assessments would occur.  Their homework also had their next assessment written on it.  The only time this got off was when we had snow days, and it became a disaster because we kept missing the same “orange” days.


Quarter 1 Schedule of instruction and assessment of concepts.

Quizzes:  The first time students are assessed on a quiz is generaly 1-2 classes after the initial instruction.  Students are generally ready to be quizzed, but for some they have not quite grasped the concept so it is a nice “check in” as we go along.  The second time students are assessed is a week after initial instruction, and they have received their quiz with their 1st attempt back and have time to get help.  There were times when this felt rushed, which meant I either was flexible and changed the date or changed what they were assessing or gave them a choice on what they individually chose to be assessed on, OR I told them they would survive and could take a requiz if they needed to.


Quiz #1 addressing the first four concepts.


Quiz #2 addressing the original four concepts as well as an additional one.

Requizzes:  Students could come in before school (needed to get permission and check that I would be there), come during our remediation time during the day (“STING”), or occasionally I would allow them to stay after school to do it.  If there was class time they could also do them then.


Requiz for a concept. There were requizzes made up to attempt #5.

Tests:  As stated before, I gave a test about every 4-5 weeks that was cumulative of everything that had been learned that quarter.  We are on a 2 semester (4 quarter) schedule, so these happened at Interim (“Mid Quarter Test”) and at the end of the quarter (“End of Quarter Test”).  These tests were as short as possible while still accurately assessing the concepts.  I found that my kid’s scores on the tests were with in 0-3% points from their current grade (which consisted of concept grades).


Mid-Quarter Test #1

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5 Responses to SBG: The Assessments

  1. eric1221cire says:

    Thank you so much. I am doing this for Algebra 2 this semester and have been excited and anxious because I decided this a week ago. Thanks to you explaining this at the 21st workshops. This last post was so helpful. I have been trying to piece togther multiple websites to get my own policy down and your site has definitely been the most useful!

  2. Julie Quenneville says:

    What a fantastic idea. I’ve been trying to streamline my math instruction and assessment and this may just be the answer. Thanks for the detailed samples of your concept lists and quizzes. I checked out Dan Meyer’s site and have printed off “The Timeline”. I may experience overload with this as I teach a split grade 7/8 and have several modified learners as well (the old “one-room schoolhouse”). But I think that the students will really connect with the accountability end of things.
    A couple of questions: Do you sometimes include a concept on only one quiz and not repeat it based on how well the students do? I notice that Concept 5 was not on two quizzes.
    How do you approach grading if student doesn’t include the work? Would that be a 3 and not a 4?
    Have you been asked to include more Communication questions where students need to explain thinking? That is big in my neck of the woods (Ontario). For example, instead of a regular question on subtracting integers, the student is asked to explain the steps involved in subtracting an integer.
    Once a student has mastered a concept, and it appears on another assessment, I believe that Meyer suggests that they just skip it. Do you agree?
    If you could share how your gradebook is organized I would greatly appreciate it. I think I know what it will entail, but I’m just a bit nervous regarding all the tracking of success. I have copied Meyer’s Concept Checklist so that will be very helpful.
    Thanks again and wish me luck!

    • A Burton says:

      I kind of tell the kids that if they don’t show work I assume they cheated, but it depends on the content how I would grade their work/lack of work.
      I forget the rationale for why Concept 5 was only quizzed once… That may have been a typo.
      Once I got more into the content of Algebra (this was review) the quizzes contained some “Communication” type questions.
      My kids are required to do any in class attempts because the point is it is a constant check-in of what they know. Just because they got it a month/week ago, doesn’t mean they still do. They are responsible for everything, all the time.
      I’ll do a grade book post soon.

    • A Burton says:

      I just finally posted something on how my gradebook is set up- sorry for the delay! Hope it can help!

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