Do you use standards-based grading? I started several years ago in my arithmetic and Algebra I classes at the early middle college I teach at. Students were not using their assessments as a way to gather feedback and make improvements so I decided to try changing the type of feedback they got. I find it much easier to discuss and develop growth mindsets in the standards based grading classroom, but I do see students falling back into the same mindset I saw before I switched to standards based grading. Now it is just, “What do I need to do to get a 3?” (my minimum mastery level) instead of “What do I need to do to get a C” (our minimum passing grade). So I will continue to work on developing the growth mindset, but that wasn’t the purpose of this blog.
I attended Critical Friends Group Coaches training this summer and during the training we were asked to bring something from work we were stuck on. So I brought my reassessment process. One thing I really like about standards based grading is the underlying idea that students can continue to work towards mastery all semester. My goal is that they understand math and can communicate about it, and I don’t want to penalize them if things suddenly connect and make sense 10 weeks into the semester. Therefore, I allow my students to reassess on concepts throughout the semester. I have gone through several processes and they are time consuming, laborious for me and the students, and generally inefficient. This brings me to my fabulous Critical Friends Group. Many schools in our county are Google schools and have much more experience with the Google apps for education than I do, as we just got them this year. So my Critical Friends Group really pushed me to identify what about the reassessment process I found to be non-negotiable and what I was willing to change or drop. Easy access throughout the semester when the student feels ready is my non-negotiable, and I decided that I was willing to forgo the personal interview that I previously used to reassess. And voila - I have a new system using Google Classroom.
I will set up a Google Class just for reassessment with assignments that are the reassessments for each concept. When a student feels ready to reassess on a concept (provided that an in-class assessment has already occurred), he or she will complete the assessment and submit it. The actual assignment in Google Classroom will be a Google Form that has the question and a place to enter the answer. The student must also take a picture of his or her work and attach it to the assignment. Yes, this assumes the student will abide by academic honesty policies but I am comfortable with that. And I spend enough time with students to know if they know something or not. I will provide a work paper with line numbers for them to use so that I can comment on specific lines of work if needed. And if a student does not have the capability to take a picture of their work and attach it to the assignment, they can do the reassessment in my office and hand me their work.
I am extremely excited about this and very grateful to my Critical Friends Group for helping me discover this solution. Our first quiz is this week so I am creating the Google Classroom this week as well. I’ll post updates throughout the semester, but I am interested in how other people approach this too. Do you allow continual reassessment? What is your process?