Posted in Professional Development

Reflections after the January Institute Day

Now that we are a bit more comfortably into term 3, I thought I would just take a minute to share with you all some of the “take aways” from the Assessment for Learning: Using Data to Drive Instruction Institute day sessions.

Overall, there are still some concerns, mostly revolving around:

  • Eliminating the 0
  • The Standards Based Grading Scale that we used in our case study
  • Using this philosophy in an AP class

Thank you for your honest feedback! These are things Chris is going to address in his daily thoughts, through Wheeling 360,  and through our future institute days and PD opportunities. I will try to help through this blog, too. Clearly, shifting from a traditional grading mindset to a Standards Based Grading mindset is a huge shift, and it is so good to think critically about the changes we are making!

While there are some questions and challenges, there were also some great take aways that I wanted to share with you.

What teachers are saying/realizing about Standards Based Grading: 

  • Defining and focusing on essential skills is at the heart of succeeding with SBG.
  • I’m starting to get it! It is definitely making me think about what I’m teaching and why.
  • I learned what a leveled exam actually looks like. I have heard about using this type of assessment but have never actually seen it in practice. Now to figure out how it could work with my curriculum.
  • It is important to develop quality test questions that truly reflect what has been taught in the curriculum.
  • I will make a better effort to make sure the skills are listed on the test itself for clarity.


What teachers are saying/realizing about the role of data: 

  • I learned that there are a ton of ways to look at data in order to inform your instruction and help students to learn the skills important to the class.
  • I understand better now how after all the initial hard work in setting up everything, it would be easy to track data moving forward.
  • It is important to analyze not just the students with D/F grades, but also A/B/C grades.


What teachers are saying/realizing about remediation and differentiation: 

  • I need to make sure I am prepared to remediate and stretch/extend students this semester.
  • It is important to analyze assessment results, especially by skill level so that remediation can focus certain students on specific skills.
  • I realized that a “C” student under the SBG model is a student that raises a “red flag”!
  • I learned how to organize groups of students and get them help according to the test results.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! I was encouraged reading your post-it notes, and I hope you find this post encouraging to you! My FAVORITE take-away (and no, I did not plant it):

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

As you dip your toes deeper into the SBG waters term 3, share what you are learning or experiencing by commenting on this blog or connecting with us on twitter: @Wheeling_360

Thanks for reading!




Teaching and Learning Facilitator at Wheeling High School English Teacher Apple Teacher

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