This year, assessment for my grade 7 math classes will be a data collection (standards-based) model as opposed to a traditional mark-based (number grades) paradigm. Students will be assessed on their ability to master the expectations of this course rather than being assigned a numerical grade. During each concept, there will be multiple opportunities to demonstrate these abilities, including student products (i.e. quizzes, tests and assignments), conversations, as well as teacher observations. The benefits to this type of assessment model, compared to a mark based model, include reduced anxiety, flexible timing, and increased student involvement.
Each topic will be divided into sub-topics and each sub-topic evaluated on a scale of "basic" (65%), "intermediate" (80%) and "advanced" (100%). Two consecutive demonstrations at any level will earn the percentage shown. The sub-topics will then be averaged together to form a topic grade that will be entered into schooltool. As these tasks and assessments are continuous throughout the marking period, the scores will always be in flux and will update several times throughout the grading period. This means you may see certain grades increase or decrease as new sub-topics are assessed. The final average grade will be the average of the subtopic grades.
Students will engage in conversations with the teacher and each other to determine next steps in their learning process. They will become advocates for their learning as the focus will not be on a score or grade, but rather on maximizing each child’s learning as they master the curriculum. My goal is to build a growth mindset when working on challenging problems and to reduce their anxiety.
Here is a link to an article regarding "Teach by Telling" vs "Active Learning" classrooms. Lessons in Learning.