This satisfies a couple of requests. They relate to two classroom items that I had a hand in creating, but do not actually use. Our AP Calculus teacher makes use of them. They are arguably the dumbest things in the world, but are hilarious in practice.  You have no idea.

Aminal SBG

Yes, aminal. Mr. AP Calc and I met last summer to discuss what SBG would look like in a Calculus class. We felt the multiple attempts would be beneficial. But this being AP Calculus, we took the opportunity to mess with the kids and developed this grading scale: 


Instead of numbers for a particular section of the test, there would be a sticker with one of those pictures on it. The students are required to discuss their grades in terms of the appropriate animal. And no, "frog" is not the same as "froggy."

How'd we spring this on them? The animals were never brought up. They took their first test as normal. They were returned with the stickers on them. Amid the confusion, I strolled in with a poster-size version of the grading scale, stapled it to the wall, and left without saying anything. 

Watching students discuss tests in terms of "two kitties and a frog" is as funny as it sounds. Our AP Chem teacher was tempted to implement the same scale but in reverse. 


The second component is an exam at the end of each grading period. The SBG tests were designed to focus on skills, the exam to be a bit more AP in nature. The exam could not be retaken like their SBG items. The exam counted as 10% of the semester grade. 

After the exams are graded, all but a few are handed back. There was then an award ceremony. What award? Why THE UNICORN AWARD. The student with the highest score on the exam was crowned unicorn for the day (there was a headband). The unicorn would also bestow a blessing on the class. If the unicorn got an 88/100, the rest of the class was "blessed" with a 12 point curve. Pictures were taken. Cue cards were made. Potential winners were asked questions about why they think they deserve the award. 

It's pretty stupid. But it's the best.  This year I believe a unicorn statue will be involved as well.

AuthorJonathan Claydon