HOW ARE STANDARDS-BASED REPORT CARDS DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL REPORT CARDS?
Traditional report cards usually assign one grade for reading, one for math, one for science and so on. On a standards-based report card, each of these subject areas is divided into a list of skills and knowledge that students are responsible for learning. Students receive a separate mark for each standard.
The achievement marks indicate a child’s progress toward meeting specific grade-level standards. Students' proficiency is reported separately from their efforts to participate and be attentive, resourceful, cooperative, etc.
With the new standards-based reporting system, students are evaluated more objectively according to consistent grade-level standards. The letter grades used in traditional report cards are a more subjective reflection of individual teachers’ expectations for student effort and achievement.
INTERPRETING THE STANDARDS
HOW CAN A PARENT USE THE NEW REPORTING SYSTEM TO HELP THEIR CHILD?
Standards-based report cards provide detailed information about how a child is doing in each subject. Parents will be able to see whether students need extra assistance in certain areas or when they need to be challenged even more. By using these clearly defined standards, teachers and parents can work together to ensure that students succeed.
During parent-teacher conferences, ask to see samples of your child’s work. Talk to his or her teacher about whether the work samples are satisfactory, or how your child could have done a better job on the assignments. Ask how you can help your child improve or excel in various subjects and what resources are available to use outside the classroom to encourage his or her progress.
The National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) also has created a “Parents’ Guide to Student Success” for each grade level that offers specific tips for how to support your child’s learning at home.
Professional Books that Guide the Initiative
Transforming Classroom Grading by Robert Marzano
How to Grade for Learning by Ken O'Connor
Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading by Robert Marzano
Fair Isn't Always Equal by Rick Wormeli
Developing Standards-Based Report Cards by Thomas Guskey
Classroom Assessment and Grading that Work by Robert Marzano
Research on Standards-Based Grading
"Seven Reasons for Standards-Based Grading" from ASCD
Getting Serious about School Reform from Marzano Research Lab
Developing Grading and Reporting Systems for Student Learning
"The Power of Feedback" (John Hattie Meta-Analysis)
Classroom Assessment and Grading that Work by Marzano
"Working Inside the Black Box" by Black, et al
To read or download copies of our curriculum scope and sequence, the common core standards, and check lists go to IA Connect section under GOVERNANCE and find curriculum reports
Practice 1: Use summative assessments to frame meaningful performance goals.On the first day of a three-week unit on nutrition, a middle school teacher describes to students the two summative assessments that she will use. One assessment is a multiple-choice test examining student knowledge of various nutrition facts and such basic skills as analyzing nutrition labels. The second assessment is an authentic performance task in which each student designs a menu plan for an upcoming two-day trip to an outdoor education facility. The menu plan must provide well-balanced and nutritious meals and snacks.
Practice 2: Show criteria and models in advance.A high school language arts teacher distributes a summary of the summative performance task that students will complete during the unit on research, including the rubric for judging the performance's quality. In addition, she shows examples of student work products collected from previous years (with student names removed) to illustrate criteria and performance levels. Throughout the unit, the teacher uses the student examples and the criteria in the rubric to help students better understand the nature of high-quality work and to support her teaching of research skills and report writing.
Practice 3: Assess before teaching.Before beginning instruction on the five senses, a kindergarten teacher asks each student to draw a picture of the body parts related to the various senses and show what each part does. She models the process by drawing an eye on the chalkboard. “The eye helps us see things around us,” she points out. As students draw, the teacher circulates around the room, stopping to ask clarifying questions (“I see you've drawn a nose. What does the nose help us do?”). On the basis of what she learns about her students from this diagnostic pre-test, she divides the class into two groups for differentiated instruction. At the conclusion of the unit, the teacher asks students to do another drawing, which she collects and compares with their original pre-test as evidence of their learning.
Practice 4: Offer appropriate choices.As part of a culminating assessment for a major unit on their state's history and geography, a class of 4th graders must contribute to a classroom museum display. The displays are designed to provide answers to the unit's essential question: How do geography, climate, and natural resources influence lifestyle, economy, and culture? Parents and students from other classrooms will view the display. Students have some choice about the specific products they will develop, which enables them to work to their strengths. Regardless of students' chosen products, the teacher uses a common rubric to evaluate every project. The resulting class museum contains a wide variety of unique and informative products that demonstrate learning.
Practice 5: Provide feedback early and often.Middle school students are learning watercolor painting techniques. The art teacher models proper technique for mixing and applying the colors, and the students begin working. As they paint, the teacher provides feedback both to individual students and to the class as a whole. She targets common mistakes, such as using too much paint and not enough water, a practice that reduces the desired transparency effect. Benefiting from continual feedback from the teacher, students experiment with the medium on small sheets of paper. The next class provides additional opportunities to apply various watercolor techniques to achieve such effects as color blending and soft edges. The class culminates in an informal peer feedback session. Skill development and refinement result from the combined effects of direct instruction, modeling, and opportunities to practice guided by ongoing feedback.
Practice 6: Encourage self-assessment and goal setting.Before turning in their science lab reports, students review their work against a list of explicit criteria. On the basis of their self-assessments, a number of students make revisions to improve their reports before handing them in. Their teacher observes that the overall quality of the lab reports has improved.
The most effective learners set personal learning goals, employ proven strategies, and self-assess their work. Teachers help cultivate such habits of mind by modeling self-assessment and goal setting and by expecting students to apply these habits regularly.
Rubrics can help students become more effective at honest self-appraisal and productive self-improvement. In the rubric in Figure 1 (p. 13), students verify that they have met a specific criterion—for a title, for example—by placing a check in the lower left-hand square of the applicable box. The teacher then uses the square on the right side for his or her evaluation. Ideally, the two judgments should match. If not, the discrepancy raises an opportunity to discuss the criteria, expectations, and performance standards. Over time, teacher and student judgments tend to align. In fact, it is not unusual for students to be harder on themselves than the teacher is.
The rubric also includes space for feedback comments and student goals and action steps. Consequently, the rubric moves from being simply an evaluation tool for “pinning a number” on students to a practical and robust vehicle for feedback, self-assessment, and goal setting.
Initially, the teacher models how to self-assess, set goals, and plan improvements by asking such prompting questions as,
Questions like these help focus student reflection and planning. Over time, students assume greater responsibility for enacting these processes independently.
Educators who provide regular opportunities for learners to self-assess and set goals often report a change in the classroom culture. As one teacher put it,
My students have shifted from asking, “What did I get?” or “What are you going to give me?” to becoming increasingly capable of knowing how they are doing and what they need to do to improve.
Practice 7: Allow new evidence of achievement to replace old evidence.A driver education student fails his driving test the first time, but he immediately books an appointment to retake the test one week later. He passes on his second attempt because he successfully demonstrates the requisite knowledge and skills. The driving examiner does not average the first performance with the second, nor does the new license indicate that the driver “passed on the second attempt.”
What can teachers do to clarify their expectations:
1. One of the advantages of criteria charts, lists, or checklists is that they break the assignment down into individual qualities or procedures that further clarify the task and related expectations.
2. Rubrics give samples of quality responses or performances for the assigned task that illustrate the highest end of the rubric.
A detailed explanation of the process of checklist and rubric design is outlined in "Becoming a Better Teacher: eight innovations that work" by Martin-Kniep, 2000
The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) is a standardized test given by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It was designed to help high school sophomores and juniors practice for their upcoming SAT test. There are other benefits to students including scholarship possibilities and a service provided by the PSAT test which will allow interested and universities to contact prospective applicants.
A deep curriculum requires students to ponder and ask questions as their primary means of inquiry and engagement
"good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness. they are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves" Parker Palmer 1998
"Treat a man as he is, he will remain so. Treat a man the way he can be and ought to be, and he will become as he can be and should be".---Goethe
Sr. Haleema is our Curriculum Coordinator and IB/AP Coordinator.