Are you ready for a 4 Point Rubric Gradebook?
Many of us are finding that 4 point rubrics not only makes grading more manageable and efficient, but it helps with our transition to standards based grading. Although true standards based grading (SBG) will have each standard listed in the gradebook and no grades will be used, this is a hybrid approach that allows for flexibility in entering 4 point rubric grades. It also allows us to begin transitioning to a standards based approach within the restrictions of the standard Aeries gradebook system that we currently use in TUSD.
Here are a few questions to see if you are ready to transition:
If you are worried about converting to 4 point rubrics, my next blog post will help provide some information and resources to help with the process.
Follow the steps below to begin your new semester using 4 point rubric settings.
STEP 1: Add a New Gradebook
Configure by naming the class, checking the Spring term and select a section to be associated with the gradebook
STEP 2: OPTIONS
Check the following options.
#1 Gets rid of percentages and averages 4 point rubric scores instead.
#2 Allows the creation of categories.
#3 Helps communicate when scores are entered by automatically updating the grade, even when "grading complete" is not checked. Blank scores do not hurt grades until "grading complete" is checked.
#4 Shows overall grades associated with rubric scores.
#5 Optional: Assignments are grouped by category in menu.
STEP 3: Categories
Option 1: Two categories, NGSS Assessments worth 60% and Scientific Literacy worth 40%. This is used by teachers who are not ready for option 2. This option allows for flexibility in what you consider scientific literacy and helps teachers transition and as they begin to decide what should and should not be graded.
Option 2: Nine categories, NGSS Assessments worth 60% and each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices worth 5% each. This is used by teachers who want to keep track of growth in the SEPs and helps to provide insight into which SEPs have been assessed and/or implemented more than the others. If you do not assess an SEP during the semester, the other categories adjust accordingly to make up 100% of the grade.
STEP 4: MANAGE STUDENTS
Add students as normal.
STEP 5: FINAL MARKS
Use the following grade scale to remove the percentages and adjust to 4 point scale. I found this grade scale recommended by Marzano as mentioned in Catlin Tucker's blog post Grading for Mastery and Redesigning My Gradebook.
NOTE: Several teachers found that the grading scale below was a bit too tough Try using the scale found on the bottom of this post instead.
STEP 6: Begin Adding Assignments
The assignment scores will be averaged and a final grade will be displayed. There are two options for entering grades for the NGSS Assessments. As done in traditional standards based grading, a grade is entered at the end of the assessment. This allows for revisions to be made and an overall grade is given on the level of mastery of the Performance Expectations within the assessment. If a student masters 3 parts of the assessment, they receive a 3 in the gradebook. This strategy eliminates the zeros in the gradebook if a student does not complete all four parts. It also promotes the growth mindset in that we are recognizing that mistakes are accepted and revised in order to learn. However, this method does create gaps of time where you may not be entering grades in the gradebook. The teachers who have piloted this method have only had to field a few emails from parents. We thought it would be more difficult to explain, but parents seem to get it pretty easily.
The second option is to give a grade for each part of the assessment. This helps with communication, but will force zeros in the gradebook. This strategy works since there are four parts to each assessment and we are using a 4 point scale. For example, a student completes two parts with 4's and gets zeros on parts 3 and 4. This averages to a C as it would using strategy above. But 3's will lower a students grade significantly, so be careful when giving 3's using this method. This may also cause more parents to ask why there are zeros in the gradebook.
A gradebook using the first method can be seen below. Notice, there are no percentages and a single grade is entered at the end of the assessment. Also, all assignments are graded using a 4 point rubric.
Cari Williams is a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for the Tustin Unified School District in Southern California. She holds a MS in Instructional Design and Technology from Cal State Fullerton and works on the side as a consultant writing science and STEAM curriculum and training teachers. After working for 12 years in the classroom as a middle school science and STEAM teacher, she transitioned into the role of Digital Learning Coach in 2013. In this role, Cari helped teachers innovate curriculum and shift pedagogies through the integration of educational technologies. Her most current work as a TOSA is focused on engineering design in robotics, computer science, and Makerspaces. She is an official VEX Robotics event partner hosting tournaments for teams from around Southern California as well as leading 28 robotics programs servicing over 100 teams in the Tustin Unified School District. Although her expertise has taken her deep into STEAM education, she remains passionate and engaged in helping teachers transition to the NGSS through participating as a Science Peer Review Panelist for Achieve and as a Professional Learning Facilitator for NSTA.