I'm a couple years into the Standards Based Grading switch and after a lot of observing, I'm adding some tiny touches to our procedures.

First, I added a new grade. I mused about it a year ago that in Pre Cal particularly there was a lot of nuance in the questions. In rare cases, rating work at 3 (60%) felt like a disservice to the effort displayed. I've introduced the 3+ this year, which is equivalent to 70%. Historically my system works with 3 + 3 = 3.5, and 4 + 4 = 5. Now I slid the 3+ to work as 3+ + 3+ = 4. I predict it will be pretty rare for a student to earn a pair of 3+s though. It's intended to be a rare situation. I rolled it into Algebra II as well just to keep my head straight while grading.

Second, an extra level of organization for the notebooks. Two of the most frequently asked questions are "do we have to keep the tests?" and "what do these numbers mean again?" I've always left keeping the tests up to the student, but stuffing them in a composition notebook often results in them disappearing over time. Both questions can be answered with a simple strip of sacrificed manilla folder. 

Enter test pockets: 


Returned tests go in the pocket. I clean out my stash of manilla folders (former desk blinders to discourage cheating which didn't really work) and hopefully there's more clarity. 

Reactions from students I had last year ranged from "ooh, clever" to "ugh, NOW you think of this!" 

AuthorJonathan Claydon