Friday, September 17, 2010

Random Ramblings (Mr. Ludwig, You Can Probably Ignore This.)

Having had nothing to really blog about in the past few days, I just thought I'd give a little update on my thoughts of standards-based grading (SBG).

So...what is SBG?

At first, it's the most confusing idea you can imagine (up there with string theory). But once the student (and, for that matter, the parents!) really figures out how it works, it's by far a superior grading system to the standard "averaging" system. (I have no idea what it's technically called.) What makes this so? To me, the superiority all revolves around the idea of second chances. Once a student has a grade, they can change it. Nothing is set in stone.

This system also takes some of the improvements of a system formerly employed by Mr. Ludwig: his "Binary" Grading System. This system did not overload the averages with participation points; students earned one point for turning in daily papers, and none if they did not. SBG improves along these lines because it gives specific areas for students to work in: standards. Each student has to find some way to demonstrate to Mr. Ludwig that he or she "gets" that standard. Mr. Ludwig will then evaluate the student's comprehension and give them a "level" in that standard. If the student is not happy with this level, they can try again. The whole goal of SBG (for the student, at least) is to "level up" enough times.

This is another reason that SBG is such a good idea. Grades are not formed by averaging the levels together, but simply by a combination of each. An "A" translates to all 4's and 3's, for example, and the system continues from there.

All things considered, I hope to see it implemented in many more classrooms.

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