Tag Archives: Grading


Zero Points Were Given

This post is about the “points” game that schools play and how to avoid it. By points I mean those numbers we award to students for performances of learning in our classes. Such numbers must have something to do with measuring student learning, but how points-based grading is being used and abused is worth a deeper look. Why do teachers use points to quantify student Read More →

Ludwig kids

Standards-Based Grading in the land of portfolios, blogs, and other time-sucking grumkins: a how-to guide

This post is an update to my older year end wrap up that seems to get a lot of traffic from people searching for “standards-based grades” and similar terms. I can only assume that there are lots of folks out there trying to get their heads around what SBG is about and how to do it. What follows will be a (hopefully) concise discussion of Read More →

Hovercraft trials1

Student-designed physics class: barely controlled chaos for the win

The experimental experiential student-designed entity that is my physics class is up and running for the year. We’re about three weeks in now (one of which was homecoming week, thank you very much) and we have some sort of structure to the class, but not much, or at least not as much as I’m used to (yes, I used to lecture a lot not too Read More →

Blogs, portfolios, and feedback (oh my!)

This is a work in progress, as most of my stuff is, but here is my Assessment Philosophy for the 2011-2012 school year that I’ll be sharing with students and their parents. Some key new features I’m trying: student blog posts will receive only feedback, not grades the spreadsheets I used last year will be editable by both myself and the student for each to Read More →


The tyranny of grading: a grade-hater’s defense of standards-based grades

Tyranny: arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority. -dictionary.com Its time to give quarter grades again, truly one of my least favorite things to do with (to?) my students. But, of course, as a teacher I am being asked by my school (and perhaps parents) to provide a single quantitative measurement of all the fabulous things that my students have done this past quarter. I know that there are some Read More →

anarchy might be fun

A minimalist standards-based grading system: dream version

Jason Buell got me thinking again with his latest post in which he gives some great tips for all the SBG newbies. A main point of his post was for us to not be too self-satisfied with our pretty lists of standards. Instead, according to Jason, we should be taking a close look at the assessments that we are going to use so that we Read More →


An analysis of “Binary Grading”: spring semester 2010 in review

School is out! The dirty glassware that had been on the lab counters all year is finally washed and put away.  The MacBooks have been reimaged, cleaned, and their batteries pulled for the summer. I even managed to complete an inventory of the chemicals in our science storeroom (NaOH-coated asbestos pellets anyone?). One remaining task, though, is to analyze how my assessment system worked for Read More →