Thursday, October 17, 2013

I don't know this...yet!

I've written before about my experiences with Standards Based Grading and why it feels so right. See "Show me what you can do" and "I can show you more than that".

Yesterday I gave a quiz on measurement and data. During the quiz, I noticed a few students really seemed to be struggling with some questions (evidence: prolonged periods of time spent staring at a blank spot on their paper).

So interrupted the class with the following announcement:
Remember, one of the great things about this SBG grading system is that you can always turn in more evidence later. So if you don't know how to do something yet, it really is okay to just write "I don't know yet." We'll keep working on it, and then you can turn in stronger evidence when you're ready." 
The release from the students was immediate. Tense shoulders relaxed. One student said out loud how much better that made her feel. It was a memorable moment.

Today, I graded the quizzes. I was gratified to see how many students felt safe admitting they were not sure or didn't yet know how to answer a given question. In the past, my experience has been that students felt compelled to bluff their way through a problem they didn't understand. In contrast, these students' honesty was refreshing. I was inspired to send this tweet:

My tweet about #SBG

Here are a couple of similar responses from other students:

If you are interested, you can access my learning targets below. I'll write more soon, but wanted to get this off my chest. Really good stuff, this SBG! 

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