22 August 2007

Hearty Carnival

Vivek has done a tremendous job this week with hosting the Carnival of Education. I know that some of you are going to say I'm a carnival snob, but I best like those carnivals where there's enough information about the posts to pique your interest and get your fingers to do some clicking. This is just one of those carnivals. As someone who has hosted these beasts, I can attest that it is no simple feat.

I submitted my post from a few days ago that has my draft of a standards-based grading policy. For those of you who might be interested in where I next took my thinking, have a look at my brand spankin' new gradebook. There are four worksheets in the file:

  • One is for tracking formative assessments. I plan to record a score of 1 - 4 for these, but interestingly enough, I do not plan to show the score to students. I will provide two kinds of feedback on these assignments for students consisting of (1) specific example(s) of what was done well and (2) a question to prompt thinking. Why keep a score for myself? Because I still need to keep my eye on the big picture. For example, how many kids look like Level Two students? To paraphrase The Shrub, "Is my children learning?" I do not plan on using the scores to assign a final grade for kids---this is just for my own reference in planning.
  • The second worksheet is for tracking summative assessment scores. These will be used to calculate report card grades. Although there are 3 cells available for both the formative and summative worksheets, this is just a starting point. I can adjust as necessary. I like using Excel for this because it will easily show me the median within a set of scores and/or quickly graph scores so that I can look for trends.
  • I have another worksheet where I can keep track of which assessment is which. I will then transpose the corresponding item number into either the formative or summative sheets.
  • Finally, there is a worksheet for anecdotal evidence. I was thinking about using a system similar to this one for classroom walkthroughs in order to keep track of things I informally see or hear when kids are working in class. But I need an way to organize and store that. So, I'm going to try an Excel worksheet in the gradebook.
It's possible that I may add other worksheets with student data (e.g. standardized test scores) as the year goes on. Obviously, I would not use this data in order to determine grades. Like the formative assessment data, they would be reference points for me.

I like that this makes my gradebook more "portable." I can use it on nearly every computer and don't need any special program to access it. As always, any ideas and/or feedback you have are much appreciated.

1 comment:

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Thanks for sharing your new gradebook, SG, and for posting it on the wiki.

When you begin using it, I imagine that you might think of some modifications, but none come to mind at the moment. Nice work!

I haven't forgotten about your other questions. ;-)