Objective Based Grading

I am not using Standards Based Grading but Objective Based Grading. This is definitely a movement in the right direction. This is the best thing about grading that I have done in 35 years. I got all of the basic ideas and lots of encouragement to change from my daughter (@jwbrackney), who also teaches math. I don’t grade everything the way that she does, but the philosophy is the same.

I identify objectives for each unit that I am teaching. When I grade quizzes and tests I used a different color hi-liter for each objective. After making comments and corrections with the hi-liters I use a rubric to determine a level of understanding for each objective (Grading Rubric). So a quiz will generally have 2-3 grades on it, based on the number of objectives assessed. A test will have 4-6 grades on it based on the number of objectives assessed.

Each objective gets quizzed after they are covered and then tested at the end of the unit. The objective quiz grades get reported on Powerschool (our district online grade program) and counted as part of the student’s grade until the unit test. At the end of a unit objective test grades get recorded. At that time I exempt the quiz grades. It still shows for student and parents to see, but they don’t count as part of the final grade.

So here is what my gradebook looks like at this point in the semester…


I am absolutely convinced this is a movement in the right direction. My grades mean so much more. It is easy to identify what a student does well and what they still need to work on. I also do retakes on objectives after they are tested.

Last semester I tried to not put a grade on homework, but with my freshman in Algebra 1 they are convinced there is no reason to do an assignment if they don’t get a grade for it. This semester I went to grading random homework assignments. I hope to one day have grade just based on assessments. One step at a time.






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