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Old 05-05-2013, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 10,024,554 times
Reputation: 3673

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The blogging world is full of discussions about standards based grading lately. It has been successfully implemented at both middle and high school levels, based on the blogs I read (and across all different subjects/socioeconomic status/ability levels). From the blogs I read, it creates a whole shift in the mentality of students (and the teacher). This is my favorite post about it recently:

Assessments: The Collateral Damage of SBG | Mathy McMatherson

I like that it creates a culture where making mistakes are okay. Think about the stupid games our kids play--do they freak out if they only get 1 star on angry birds? No, they replay the level 50 times until they know exactly how to do it. They start with 0 stars on 50 different levels, and will play the games a billion times until they have 3 stars on all 50 levels. That's where I want to get my classroom. "Oops, only have 2 stars on slope, what can I do to get it to 3 stars?"

I think you have to make re-testing an effort to avoid the kids seeing it as "That's okay, I'll just try tomorrow". Make them do test/quiz corrections, complete a study guide, come to after school tutoring, and come after school or at lunch for their reassessment. Make them prove that they have done something to increase the likelihood they know the material. If they cheat on all those remediation activities by copying their friend's work, guess what? They certainly aren't going to pass the second time around either. Eventually they'll learn that, and start working to understand the material. Let's be honest--giving them one shot at any exam doesn't teach them the value of studying or homework either. Then they can just fail the test, brush it aside, and when (if) mom and dad confront them on it they can honestly say, "There's nothing I can do to improve the grade." At least this way they never have that excuse.

At my level (8th grade), I have to count homework. I make it trivial enough (10%) that if a kid doesn't do any of it, they can still get a decent grade, and the kid who does it all doesn't have a free pass to an A. They aren't mature enough to see the cause and effect of doing homework yet. It's something I try to get across to them over the course of the year, but the grade accountability is a nice bridge in the mean time.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:43 PM
 
Location: midwest
1,453 posts, read 1,130,693 times
Reputation: 898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I see him having issues with employers in the future. You don't get to skip steps in the real world.
But then the schools don't make accounting mandatory either. So are the schools designed to psychologically condition students to be workers?

It is certainly curious how John Maynard Keynes was saying in 1930 that we should have 15 hour work weeks by 2030 but most economists have said nothing about planned obsolescence for decades. Yeah, teachers think like employers.

Heinlein's first novel For Us the Living

http://www.gpnp.net/backshelves.gpnp...e%20Living.pdf

psik
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,553 posts, read 13,539,834 times
Reputation: 4179
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
The blogging world is full of discussions about standards based grading lately. It has been successfully implemented at both middle and high school levels, based on the blogs I read (and across all different subjects/socioeconomic status/ability levels). From the blogs I read, it creates a whole shift in the mentality of students (and the teacher). This is my favorite post about it recently:

Assessments: The Collateral Damage of SBG | Mathy McMatherson

I like that it creates a culture where making mistakes are okay. Think about the stupid games our kids play--do they freak out if they only get 1 star on angry birds? No, they replay the level 50 times until they know exactly how to do it. They start with 0 stars on 50 different levels, and will play the games a billion times until they have 3 stars on all 50 levels. That's where I want to get my classroom. "Oops, only have 2 stars on slope, what can I do to get it to 3 stars?"

I think you have to make re-testing an effort to avoid the kids seeing it as "That's okay, I'll just try tomorrow". Make them do test/quiz corrections, complete a study guide, come to after school tutoring, and come after school or at lunch for their reassessment. Make them prove that they have done something to increase the likelihood they know the material. If they cheat on all those remediation activities by copying their friend's work, guess what? They certainly aren't going to pass the second time around either. Eventually they'll learn that, and start working to understand the material. Let's be honest--giving them one shot at any exam doesn't teach them the value of studying or homework either. Then they can just fail the test, brush it aside, and when (if) mom and dad confront them on it they can honestly say, "There's nothing I can do to improve the grade." At least this way they never have that excuse.

At my level (8th grade), I have to count homework. I make it trivial enough (10%) that if a kid doesn't do any of it, they can still get a decent grade, and the kid who does it all doesn't have a free pass to an A. They aren't mature enough to see the cause and effect of doing homework yet. It's something I try to get across to them over the course of the year, but the grade accountability is a nice bridge in the mean time.
The students you are getting in middle school don't have homework counted towards their academic grades through grade 6, but we can use it for "effort" grades.

If the student receives a "1" or a "2" on a standard, we are supposed to reassess later, but it doesn't have to be through a test. They may also show that they demonstrate understanding of standards using different benchmarks and indicators later in the school year.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 32,349,503 times
Reputation: 14639
Quote:
Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
But then the schools don't make accounting mandatory either. So are the schools designed to psychologically condition students to be workers?

It is certainly curious how John Maynard Keynes was saying in 1930 that we should have 15 hour work weeks by 2030 but most economists have said nothing about planned obsolescence for decades. Yeah, teachers think like employers.

Heinlein's first novel For Us the Living

http://www.gpnp.net/backshelves.gpnp...e%20Living.pdf

psik
A shortened work week is one of the things I thought would manifest too. I thought we'd be working more efficiently by now. As for my student who refused to show his work, that won't fly in a report for a customer. They tend to want every detail with the steps broken down into bits they can follow. Can you imagine a teacher refusing to show the steps? Or a doctor not wanting to write down what he did? You're going to have trouble in the real world if you just refuse to write down what you do.

As a teacher, I had to accomondate him but he did not care how much more work this made for me. All that mattered was he was not inconvenienced. That also will noy fly in the real world. Forcing others to bend to you won't get you far.
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 10,024,554 times
Reputation: 3673
Information on SBG:

Standards-Based Grading | ThinkThankThunk
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Florida
7,197 posts, read 4,584,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
A shortened work week is one of the things I thought would manifest too. I thought we'd be working more efficiently by now. As for my student who refused to show his work, that won't fly in a report for a customer. They tend to want every detail with the steps broken down into bits they can follow. Can you imagine a teacher refusing to show the steps? Or a doctor not wanting to write down what he did? You're going to have trouble in the real world if you just refuse to write down what you do.

As a teacher, I had to accomondate him but he did not care how much more work this made for me. All that mattered was he was not inconvenienced. That also will noy fly in the real world. Forcing others to bend to you won't get you far.

It really depends on your career choice. If you have a lot of autonomy, then no, you don't need to write down every detail for your customers or clients. I was that kid who did little homework and didn't show work on my math tests, but still got As and Bs. I wasn't a fan of busy work. Granted, I would have done better in some classes if I'd jumped through the hoops, but by the time I got to high school, I really didn't care. I took mostly honors classes and graduated in the top 10% of my class, so it wasn't a matter of skating through taking cake courses. I had a couple of teachers who complained at me, but I wasn't too concerned about it; as long as I got an A or a B in the class, I was happy enough with that.

When I worked for an employer, I had to deal with some busy work (monthly reports), and I did very well with it as an adult, despite not dealing with it well as a teenager. I also convinced my employer (it was a dentist) that some of the work was redundant, and he agreed with me and said I didn't have to it as long as everything balanced out. Which it did.

Now that I work for myself, I simply do not deal with clients who want to micromanage. If they start up with that, then I let them know that I can handle it. So far, I have lost only one client because of this (I have been doing this for three years). The rest appreciate not having to worry about my projects. They're done well and on-time, and that's all there is to it. I anticipate that I will probably lose more clients in the future because we don't share the same style, but I'm absolutely okay with that... you can't please everybody all of the time!
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 32,349,503 times
Reputation: 14639
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherTouchOfWhimsy View Post
It really depends on your career choice. If you have a lot of autonomy, then no, you don't need to write down every detail for your customers or clients. I was that kid who did little homework and didn't show work on my math tests, but still got As and Bs. I wasn't a fan of busy work. Granted, I would have done better in some classes if I'd jumped through the hoops, but by the time I got to high school, I really didn't care. I took mostly honors classes and graduated in the top 10% of my class, so it wasn't a matter of skating through taking cake courses. I had a couple of teachers who complained at me, but I wasn't too concerned about it; as long as I got an A or a B in the class, I was happy enough with that.

When I worked for an employer, I had to deal with some busy work (monthly reports), and I did very well with it as an adult, despite not dealing with it well as a teenager. I also convinced my employer (it was a dentist) that some of the work was redundant, and he agreed with me and said I didn't have to it as long as everything balanced out. Which it did.

Now that I work for myself, I simply do not deal with clients who want to micromanage. If they start up with that, then I let them know that I can handle it. So far, I have lost only one client because of this (I have been doing this for three years). The rest appreciate not having to worry about my projects. They're done well and on-time, and that's all there is to it. I anticipate that I will probably lose more clients in the future because we don't share the same style, but I'm absolutely okay with that... you can't please everybody all of the time!
Name a job that does not require record keeping. I can't think of one other than minimum wage cashier or burger flipper (a bank teller would have to keep records). As an engineer, I had to keep records on everything I did. Dh has to keep records of changes he makes to software. My SIL, who is a doctor has to take detailed records. As a teacher I have to keep good records. My brother the mechanic has to keep records of services rendered. Even my sister who is a receptionist has to keep records of people she calls. The technicians I worked with went to great lengths to record each test or formula they worked on. I remember one tech who failed to do so and cost the company a fortune. After years of trying, they, finally had a working formula that could not be duplicated because of the technicians failure to record what they did. Everyone I know has to record what they do so others can trace issues if they arise. Salesmen keep records...nurses keep records...engineers keep records....contractors keep records....repairmen keep records....even the pizza delivery guy keeps records of the houses he delivers to... Other than making change, I don't know anyone who gets to say "I did it in my head". And then there's that attitude that says I don't care of my refusal to show my work inconveniences anyone else. I can't get around the attitude either.

Let's hope you never end up in court and need to show what you did for your clients. Good record keeping can save you.
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Florida
7,197 posts, read 4,584,044 times
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I wasn't talking about record keeping. I was talking about busywork, which a lot of homework is. Practice the same type of problem 10 or 30 times. That type of thing. Of course I keep records... I do have to pay taxes, after all! And everything is transmitted electronically, so there are always backups of everything submitted. When there's a reason to do something, it should absolutely be done.

I've had clients who wanted tons of extra steps included. For example, I have one who used to want detailed lists and outlines of what I would be writing for him, and checking in every few days. I did it the first several times, but then it got to be too laborious; he had approved everything that I'd submitted each time and we'd been working for him for a while, so there was no reason for it. I simply said, "My fee includes the work submitted by the 10th of each month. I don't have time for checking in with you twice per week, and I am no longer able to provide you with detailed outlines." He said, "okay." I'm not sure why he was asking for work that he apparently didn't care that much about anyway... just force of habit, I guess. That's more along the lines of what I'm talking about... if you can do the work without the extra busywork, then just do it. If you can pass the math test and get the right answers without showing the work for 25 problems first, then just do it and move onto something else.
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 32,349,503 times
Reputation: 14639
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherTouchOfWhimsy View Post
I wasn't talking about record keeping. I was talking about busywork, which a lot of homework is. Practice the same type of problem 10 or 30 times. That type of thing. Of course I keep records... I do have to pay taxes, after all! And everything is transmitted electronically, so there are always backups of everything submitted. When there's a reason to do something, it should absolutely be done.

I've had clients who wanted tons of extra steps included. For example, I have one who used to want detailed lists and outlines of what I would be writing for him, and checking in every few days. I did it the first several times, but then it got to be too laborious; he had approved everything that I'd submitted each time and we'd been working for him for a while, so there was no reason for it. I simply said, "My fee includes the work submitted by the 10th of each month. I don't have time for checking in with you twice per week, and I am no longer able to provide you with detailed outlines." He said, "okay." I'm not sure why he was asking for work that he apparently didn't care that much about anyway... just force of habit, I guess. That's more along the lines of what I'm talking about... if you can do the work without the extra busywork, then just do it. If you can pass the math test and get the right answers without showing the work for 25 problems first, then just do it and move onto something else.
It's also about learning how to write down what you did in a way that others can follow. You should see some of the poor communication I get on answers to chemistry questions. As the teacher, I can figure out what they're trying to say but I'm not going to. Either they say it clearly or they don't get the credit because someday, someone who can't piece it together will have to read their "explanation".

I had a proffessor in college who required us to not only show our work but neatly and in a specific format. Pictures on the upper left, formulas on the upper right and the work, neatly (so neatly that I had to use a template to do mine so he could read it) and in order on the bottom. I have students who, when they do show their work, it's in 6 different places on the page. There is something to be said for organized thought. The interesting thing about that class is I never had to study for a test. The very act of making that very neat and organized copy to turn in to him was all the review I needed.

I've had clients like that too. One unnamed Japanese company comes to mind. I've rewritten reports because they wanted certain data in a different font. They're the customer so we gave them what they wanted. That's the way the business world works.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Florida
7,197 posts, read 4,584,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
It's also about learning how to write down what you did in a way that others can follow. You should see some of the poor communication I get on answers to chemistry questions. As the teacher, I can figure out what they're trying to say but I'm not going to. Either they say it clearly or they don't get the credit because someday, someone who can't piece it together will have to read their "explanation".

I had a proffessor in college who required us to not only show our work but neatly and in a specific format. Pictures on the upper left, formulas on the upper right and the work, neatly (so neatly that I had to use a template to do mine so he could read it) and in order on the bottom. I have students who, when they do show their work, it's in 6 different places on the page. There is something to be said for organized thought. The interesting thing about that class is I never had to study for a test. The very act of making that very neat and organized copy to turn in to him was all the review I needed.

I've had clients like that too. One unnamed Japanese company comes to mind. I've rewritten reports because they wanted certain data in a different font. They're the customer so we gave them what they wanted. That's the way the business world works.
Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. It really depends on the business and the client. If someone were paying me a LOT of money to play with fonts and formatting, then I'd do it (and I have done this before for high-paying clients). If they're just paying me my normal rates, though, which are actually high as far as the industry goes, then I don't, or I charge for the extra time. I personally choose to jump through as few hoops as possible. Others may choose to do something different, and that's fine. And sometimes you do need to decide to jump through certain hoops. For example, with the professor that you mentioned. Your choices were to do what he wanted or get marked down in the course. I'd probably elect to do the busywork as well in that case. It's always a choice, though.

I do get the benefit of showing your work when it comes to a teacher needing to show you what you did wrong. I have my son show his work if he gets a math problem wrong. Go back and redo it, showing your work this time. If he gets it right, though, then I don't need him to write out each step. I do see how this would be difficult in a traditional classroom; you can't follow up on every problem with every kid.
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