Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thoughts on formative and summative assessment training and nice a coordinate plane foldable

     Yesterday I finished my training on formative and summative assessments. Everything that I am learning is so different than the way I have graded for years. I am a very traditional teacher and have been using percents forever to grade kids. Unit tests were weighted at 50%, quizzes and 25% with homework being the other 25%. My homework has always been viewed as a learning experience and they were given a completion grade for doing the assignment. The comment from one of our trainers was, "if it can be copied, it shouldn't be graded," hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been placing grades in my grade book for years that is homework I know some of my students copy from each other. After a long discussion with Gina and Mike, two of  my math colleagues at work, we made the decision not to grade homework or give it a effort grade. Wow, I am nervous about that. Are the kids going to do the homework or not?  
      We now grade only on the knowledge the students can demonstrate and our grades will be 4, 3, 2, 1, and 0. The way we need to grade now is a complete shift but it some ways it seems like it will be easier and a much more accurate reflection of what the kids really know.  As a department, we decided to start doing Standards Based Grading next year and the first step is to figure out what our formative and summative assessments will be. We are developing a plan of what all of our changes are going to look like and placing them on our syllabus. I really need time to wrap my head around all of this. I am so glad that my entire department, there are 7 1/2 of us, are jumping in and doing this together! We work well together and will all have the same criteria so that will help. I am so glad I already have been allowing kids to retest, see Retesting a new idea for me, as that is a large part of what we talked about today. I know this is all just ramblings but it is what is floating around in my head. If you've read this far, thanks. Tomorrow we finish the second day of training on Standards Based Grading. I'll keep you posted of our progress.  

     I can't have a post without sharing a foldable with you. This is one of my favorites from last year on the Coordinate Plane. It takes time but there is so much information on here and it's all in one place. The kids really liked making it as well. Click here for the original from   Amy Harrison at teaching in a virtual reality. Her pictures are much better than mine so visit her site. Thanks for sharing Amy!

Coordinate Plane  Foldable Cover

middle of foldable

Inside of foldable

Til next time,



  1. Love the foldable!

    I tried SBG in Algebra 2 this year, but I've been hesitant to take the plunge in Algebra 1. Your post has me reconsidering this, though. So much to think about! If it can be copied, it shouldn't be graded. What a powerful statement!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      It is all very overwhelming. We are going to do SBG but the district isn't quite ready for the electronic gradebook til the middle of the summer. They still have to list all the standards into the program. My next post will go into more detail. I'll share what we are working on.


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