We've had our first test in Algebra II, and this is my first chance to see standards based grading for the early, uninteresting topics at the beginning of the curriculum. This is my third time through, and I always knew my kids struggled with radicals and their operations, but behold what the system giveth:


The last two years all I've had to go by is a test average for Chapter 1, which contained these four topics. I had 3 Algebra II classes last year and the Chapter 1 average for each class was 82%, 83%, and 84%. Great, cool! Seems like everyone is getting a B. Do I have any idea what was the main cause of that average by looking at that number? Is it apparent that a particular group struggled with it? Given that the averages are so close, who knows. But this little graph tells me that one of my classes didn't grasp two concepts well, and it could be a sign of what to expect from them in the future, or an adverse affect of being the group I see first. And when it comes time for Test 2 in a few days, I know exactly what to focus on when we do a little review.

Bonus, the sample size here is about 80 students. It took roughly 80 minutes to grade their papers, with breaks, on a weeknight.

Quiz question: Can you guess which bar benefits from a bell schedule that leaves one period 7 minutes longer than the others?

AuthorJonathan Claydon