SBG | Step 1 – Prioritizing

SBG: Step 1 Prioritizing
SBG: Step 1 Prioritizing
Play Video about SBG: Step 1 Prioritizing

Teachers are overwhelmed with too many standards to teach in too short of time. Prioritization can help teachers focus on helping students master and progress through the most important standards.

Hi! I’m Kim Strobel and we’ve been talking about Standards Based Grading. What it is, the current issues with the grading system that all of us have been trained in, and why we need to consider transitioning to standard space grading.

And so the very first step in transitioning to Standards Based Grading, after we’ve really built our understanding of the current education system and its challenges, is to then consider how to prioritize standards.

Here’s the deal. In the United States, we are responsible for way too many standards per grade level and per subject area that we could possibly cover, and I know all of you feel this. You know, you might have 36 fourth grade math standards and 29 fourth grade ELA standards; or you know, 62 World Civilization standards. 

And the issue is that we kind of use the spray and pray method I call it, right. We like, spray kids with all this information, we pray that sticks, and it never sticks. Well the issue is that we don’t have enough time to teach all of the standards that we’re responsible for in the time allotted which means that we have to prioritize standards.

And so one of the pieces that we really do with schools is we work to look at the grade level standards, and of course we take in the blueprints and the type of state testing and things like that and we decide which standards are going to be priority, which means they’re going to get 50 to 75% of your instruction time.

And then we break it down to your Tier 2 standards. These are also important, but they’re only going to get 25 to 50% of your instruction time. 

Then of course the Tier 3 standards are going to get less than 10% of your instruction time. 

This is so very important to do because we can’t keep trying to deliver all of this information to students, and knowing that six weeks later we can assess them on it and they’ve already lost all of that information. 

So it actually is kind of a relief for teachers to do this process, and to really unpack their standards and look and see what is the learning progression of that standard. What are the simple skills that a student needs to master, and then what are the more complex skills that a student needs so they can bring them all together towards mastery of those priority standards. 

This is also really helpful for whenever we’re doing horizontal alignment within the grade level, and then also vertical alignment across the grades K through 12. 

So that is step one of the standards-based grading process – is to prioritize the standards and this takes time it takes guidance it takes support but it’s worth doing in the end.

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