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spunky7 08-12-2016 12:53 PM

Proficiency-Based Grading

I was wondering if someone who has used it before could explain how proficiency-based grading works. I know it's more about the students meeting goals, but do you still assign a percentage grade to each assignment? Do you still weight the different areas(homework, tests, etc.)? As a new teacher, this is something that is new to me. Any help is appreciated!

WordFountain 08-12-2016 01:13 PM

Standards Based Report Card
Welcome spunky7! Congrats on your teaching job :)

My school has had a standards based report card for the last couple of years (K-3). We have a Rubric 0 - 4 but also a number percentage equivalent.

- 4: Beyond Level (98% and above)
- 3: On Level (81% - 97%)
- 2: Approaching Level (76% - 80%)
- 1: Requires Intervention / Below Level (70% - 75%)
- 0: Failure to Understand Skill (69% and below)

We consider an 80% or higher "Achieving Mastery". Any grade 75% or lower we are required to re-test the skill.

Hope this helps.

spunky7 08-13-2016 05:31 AM

Individual grades
Thanks so much for your reply! Do you still grade all their work(homework, tests, etc) and enter it into a grade book?

WordFountain 08-13-2016 08:17 AM

Be choosy
I do not grade everything. There's not enough time in the day. I do not grade homework (I teach 3rd). I used to have a simple they do or not kind of grade, but it was a waste of time. I check their HW every morning for completion while they work on their Brain Stretch (10 min), I scan to see if there are specific errors on math Qs, sentence/grammar mistakes in their comprehension log, etc. I make a note on my clipboard. Then I either re-teach the skill or specific problem to the entire class if I see more than 1-2 students make the same mistake. Otherwise, I take that student aside during Skills or Centers and go over the problem/skill.

**I do hold the students accountable for doing their HW. If they are missing it, it is incomplete, or "unprofessional" (ripped, messy, crumpled, etc) I don't accept it and they have to do it either: 1st offense for HW as extra, or 2nd offense at Recess, Free time, etc.**

I have a Checklist /Rubric that I use for classwork. I'll explain it the best I can: I use this as my "Check for Understanding" throughout my lessons. When it's time for Independent practice my students write what number they feel they are, then circle the appropriate Qs (I differentiate) in their Math workbooks. Then I use the Checklist. It has all my students' names in a column on the left then for each column after I write the date, skill, and workbook pg#. After my lessons during Independent practice or Centers I fill in my checklist. I follow the Rubric 1-3:
3 - I got it. I can teach this to others
2 - I sort of got it. I have some questions / need some help
1 - I don't understand. I need help.

The checklist is a quick and easy way to always have data available. If my supervisor ever wants to see, I can easily show them my clipboard. I input grades weekly. But I just take the average of that week's skill. So, if we are doing "Adds and Subtracts fluently" - Student A has a 3,2,2,1,3 = I'll input a 2.

**Rabbit Trail: I made my rubric before my school changed to the skills based report card, so this year I'll update my rubric to match the report card, so there will not be an added step of me "averaging".**

Grade book for Math:
- Chapter Test - 40%
- Friday Mad Minute/Quizzes - 30%
- Skills/Classwork (Checklist) - 25%
- Participation (Homework included on frequency completed) - 5%

Is broken into Language Arts/Writing and Reading. I have a similar Checklist, but it has more room for anecdotal notes from Guided Reading. I grade their Weekly skills graphic organizer (again against the Rubric), Weekly reading Assessment, skills activities, writing, etc.

Grade book for Reading:
- Quizzes/Assessments - 40%
- Classwork/Guided Reading/Centers - 50%
- Participation (Reading Log HW is included in frequency of completion) - 10%

Language Arts / Writing:
- Fundations/Word Work - 50%
- Writing - 40%
- Participation - 10%

Our Report Card has a section for Homework Completion, School-wide behavior, Effort, Classroom Participation based on the Rubric. So, I'll take my checklist and average a Weekly participation grade.

That was a lot :D So, I hope that helps. If you'd like me to clarify or add let me know.

spunky7 08-13-2016 05:33 PM

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'm starting to understand it a little more. So, correct me if I'm wrong, but you do grade assignments and average the grades, but the actual number doesn't go on the report card? It seems like the students just get a proficiency level on the report cards. Sorry for all the questions! This is all new to me.:p

WordFountain 08-13-2016 06:08 PM

In a nut shell
Yes. Every school is a little different, but you got the gist.

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