My First SBG Assessment!

Welp. I tried it.

I told the students we were going to use Standards Based Grading.

I told the parents we were going to use Standards Based Grading.

And then…we had our first assessment. You guessed it…I used Standards Based Grading.

Image result for gif i did it

We are not calling them assessments. We are calling them “twizzes” (shoutout to Jenny) – a mix between a “quiz” and a “test.” I think “twiz” sounds cute, and 6th graders like cute. However, I let that slip during Meet the Teacher night and got a stink eye from one mom…was I wrong to say that? Too late, anyway.

Okay, back to my first SBG twiz.  Was it wonderful? I don’t know. Here are my thoughts so far:


  • I do seriously appreciate the data that I got, and that it was much more specific than what I am used to. I can tell who needs to practice what skill. I can also tell…that I need to do a better job of teaching them what I expect when they translate word problems with integers into equations – YIKES.
  • I am adding this bullet point so that it looks like there is more than one pro. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY believe in this system, so this one pro is worth about 10 bullet points.


  • It was not faster to grade, albeit this was the very first time I tried it. I went through all the twizzes and marked them up, noting problems that were incorrect or unclear and giving feedback. Then, I went through them 5 more times, one for each standard being assessed. I had color coded my answer key to make this faster, which was a good idea. I suspect that this will get faster as I get more comfortable with my grading rubric.
  • This will  not be fun putting into the gradebook – 5 grades per student for one twiz. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a big deal. It is a con though.
  • I am dreading having to justify my grading to students (and maybe parents, but hopefully not).

Nickelodeon angry nickelodeon yelling the loud house GIF

However, I believe in all the grades I gave. I don’t have this master’s degree and all             this teaching experience for nothing! Nonetheless, the seemingly subjective nature            feels weird to me. This is also something I will get used to.

  • I am still working out the kinks. I use a scale of 0-5. Students may only get 4’s and 5’s on the first assessment attempt. Therefore, it’s only worth it to request a reassessment if you get a 2 or below. However, what am I going to do with people who get a 5 when I supply the reassessment? What I mean is, let’s say Jimmy John got a 3 on Standard 1.1a. He won’t ask for a reassessment because he can’t get any higher than a 3 (which still translates to a B in my school’s grading system). However, when this standard shows up in the next twiz or two, can Jimmy John get a 4 or a 5? I think that my rubric implies a no. So does he always stay at a 3? Here is a snip of my rubric – ¿que dice la publica?


Luckily, my department chair is really supportive of us trying things out, so I am not worried. We also have a Mastery-Based Learning study group this year, so I have built-in colleagues to help me think through this throughout the year.

Anyway, we have a professional development day tomorrow, so I’ll be handing the twizzes back to students when they return on Wednesday. Wish me luck!


6 thoughts on “My First SBG Assessment!

  1. Love your blog! Congrats on trying SBG. I’ve dabbled in the past, but now have to do traditional grades, and am dreading it. Anyway, I am curious…do students see the 1-5 score or the percent? Or is the percent just what you enter in your gradebook?


  2. I think it’s interesting that you wrote “the seemingly subjective nature feels weird to me.” I think all grades are subjective and often teachers (especially math teachers) like to hide behind the seemingly objective grades they have used. I think it’s better to be real about the sibjectivity.

    The con relating to the gradebook – what kind of gradebook do you use? There are definitely some that make the process easier.

    As for the 4 & 5 issue…I think I understand why you have it set up that way, and if a reassessment were the same (or very similar) questions, it makes sense. But if a future quiz covers the same content with new, novel questions, I think a 4 or 5 should ne achievable.


    • James, you are totally right about the subjectivity – lol!

      We use Veracross, but I think we are considering a different system for next year. What do you have?

      You all have given me some good ideas about these 4’s and 5’s….

      Thank you!


  3. Yay! You tried it! Way to be brace.

    Couple thoughts:
    Don’t sweat the stink eye mom. Parents are worried about their kids performance in school so anything that sounds like “test” can put em on edge. Just keep smiling. When they have concrete concerns, then talk to them and worry the details.

    I only went through any Twiz once. I set it up so that all of LT1.1a was together and I graded all of that one learning target in one swoop, then started over with LT 1.1b. I went through the pile many times, but each quiz unit once. Saves oodles of time.

    The retest thing is always a bugaboo. You do you, but were it me, I would let 4s and 5s happen in retests. To discourage misuse of the first attempt, my second versions tended to be more abstract and students had to use a different colored pen to made serious edits to the first attempt.

    Good luck! Good job!


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