Tag Archives: Sbg

Creating Google Sites for Student Portfolios: A Shared Biology Portfolio Template

I’ve received some requests recently to share the biology portfolio that I use with my students. Here’s a quick note about how to use my template to set up a Google Sites portfolio for students to use.   In experimenting with student-managed portfolios, I’ve found it best to create a Template Site that students can use to create their portfolio. If you have a set of standards Read More →

sharing ideas

Crowdsourcing a Biology Curriculum for the NGSS

A strange hobby… I’ve been tinkering around with the Next Generation Science Standards a lot lately, mostly out of a sense of curiosity about how they line up with my current practice. 15 years of teaching biology has made me rather opinionated about what’s important for students to learn, so its always a good reality check to see where my practice lands in comparison to Read More →

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Skills-Based Portfolios Meet All Three Requirements for an Assessment System for the NGSS

Introduction (or Why Should I Care About the NGSS?) As you could guess, one of the major themes at the recent Denver Regional NSTA meeting was how to begin to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in our science teaching. I started off the conference by attending a talk by Brett Moulding, who is described as being the “writing team leader” for the NGSS, Read More →

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NSTA 2013 Slide Deck: Assessment in the Modern Science Classroom

I’ll be giving a short presentation later this week at the Denver Regional NSTA meeting about how (and why) to use portfolios for assessment and evaluation in science classrooms. For those of you who like to mark up slides during a talk, here’s the set of slides (pdf link) that I plan to use. They’ll make a little more sense with some dialogue to accompany Read More →

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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 →

Justin in overalls with the prime minister of Canada

How to make standards-based grading just another fad

A colleague of mine recently described what it was like growing up as the youngest kid in the family. His main point was that the youngest child sometimes learns a lot from watching the older kids fail horribly. Hopefully this post gives you a chance to benefit from being the little brother/sister learning from us older kids so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. Read More →

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A student-designed AP Biology course?

I’ve waited to post this set of thoughts until I was back at school, mostly because I was up in the mountains for the last bit of the summer. Yes, I had wifi, but, well, there were other things to do that were better than blogging. But I’m back to writing, and in terms of changes for this school year that you might be interested 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 →

THIS is why I love digital portfolios: what do my classes look like?

I’ve been asked a few questions lately about what my classes look like: Are your classes “flipped?” What kind of assignments do you give? How much lecturing do you do? I thought about writing a post answering these, but then today I was evaluating this portfolio and thought that I would just post a link to it instead. If you spend some time with this Read More →

Convergent classroom (standards-based grading) meets divergent class (phunsics): separate styles for separate courses

Scott McLeod recently asked this question in his post Reconciling Convergence and Divergence: How do you reconcile… principles of standards-based grading; “begin with the end in mind and work backwards;” understanding by design; and other more convergent learning ideas with… project-, problem-, challenge-, and/or inquiry-based learning; creativity; innovation; collaboration; and our need for more divergent thinkers? My answer: I don’t reconcile the two, nor am I Read More →

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