How sbg made me better
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How sbg made me better



A presentation for journalism advisers thinking about making the switch to Standards-based grading. I shared what I did my first year of SBG on my publication staff, what worked, what didn't and where ...

A presentation for journalism advisers thinking about making the switch to Standards-based grading. I shared what I did my first year of SBG on my publication staff, what worked, what didn't and where I'm headed next.



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How sbg made me better Presentation Transcript

  • 1. HOW SBG MADE ME BETTER. Sandra H. Coyer, MJE English/journalism teacher Puyallup High School Puyallup, Wash.
  • 2. FORMAT FOR TODAY • Walk you through what I did and why I did it • Feel free to ask questions through the process
  • 3. WHAT I USE TO DO • Graded students in three main areas: • deadline completion grade each issue • product grade each issue • job completion grade each issue • Portfolios (string books) due each semester
  • 4. REFLECTION • Wasn’t “unhappy” but felt I could be better • Staff: about 30 kids, 10-12 grade, 5 had taken a beginning j class, 15 new to journalism this year, 8-10 returning staffers • One class period daily, 3-4 week production cycle • Print pub, website, student-maintained Facebook site, some dabbling with VVTV • Editorial Board had requested a Thursday “workshop” day • How could I make it meaningful and not feel like something thrown in “just because”
  • 5. WHERE I STARTED • District move to SBG • District had not established journalism standards so… • Washington State Journalism Curriculum guide • Ultimate philosophy: grade should reflect what students know and should be able to demonstrate
  • 6. PROBLEM AREAS • In SBG, behavior shouldn’t impact grade • But meeting deadlines (a behavior) is such an integral part to production • Different students, different positions, same gradebook • Gradebook program is not workable, no workarounds
  • 8. TEACHING PLAN • How to make this work while still putting out a print publication every month (3 week production cycle) as well as a publication website (updates more frequently) and a student-maintained Facebook site? • Students wanted more instruction.
  • 9. WORKSHOP DAYS • Thursdays were workshop days, specifically designed around teaching units. • Students were quizzed on Associated Press Style in small bell ringer activities. • Students were also quizzed on current events. • Started with Power Standard #1: The student understands and exercises the rights and responsibilities of free speech in American society. • Students learned the court cases, SPJ Code of Ethics, etc through skillbuilding activities, formative assessments, and summatively in a test.
  • 10. WORKSHOP DAYS: PHOTOGRAPHY • Next, students worked on Power Standard 6: The student recognizes the relationship of photography, art, graphics, and design to effective communication. • Students began with a group photography project (had to illustrate the elements of photo composition in a Powerpoint to share with the class). This was skillbuilding.
  • 11. MORE PHOTOGRAPHY • Students next individually had to attend an event, take photos (at minimum), and create a photo essay for the event. In order to earn a B or an A, students had to also interview people at the event then compose a caption for the photo essay that included not only the action from the photos, essential info from the event, but also added color from the interviews. The photo essay then had to go through the editing process in order to be publishable online.
  • 12. PHOTOGRAPHY SUMMATIVE • Students then had to demonstrate their ability to tell a story effectively through multi-media. They had to attend another event, take photos/video, interview people, then put the shots, interviews and info together in a video story using any video editing program they felt comfortable with.
  • 13. RESULTS • Mixed overall. • A few students really took to video reporting and did well, posting to the Facebook site as well as the website. • Others had a lot of issues finding events and then stories at those events. • Approximately 85% of students completed the assignment at least at the basic level of skill.
  • 16. PORTFOLIO: DURING SBG Students given handout at quarter to begin putting together the portfolio. It had previously been divided by issue now it was divided by Power Standards with the appropriate documentation behind each. Quarter was the first time they started organization. The reflection sheet was a 5-page handout. Verdict: Some students completed it, others did not. It was designed around getting students to take ownership but…
  • 17. PORTFOLIO: FIRST SEMESTER Students were given this handout at the semester in order to self-evaluate progress on portfolio. Students whose portfolios were ready needed a whole class period to complete. Others whose portfolios were not ready did not get them turned in timely in order to get grading done. Ended up doing interview reflections (like a job would do) with many. Verdict: A 9-page handout seems daunting.
  • 18. PORTFOLIO: ANOTHER EVAL ATTEMPT In an attempt to document growth and make things easier (in terms of what I was seeing and not seeing), I created this atrocity. It is 17-pages long. The students volunteered to come explain why it didn’t work.
  • 19. WHAT I LEARNED • Students like having a purpose beyond the print product. • Student will rise to the level of expectation. • Students WILL apply rubrics objectively using the assessment criteria. • Longer rubrics/checklist don’t work. • Students appreciate when they are given scaffolded assignments.
  • 20. HOW I BECAME BETTER • More opportunities to teach my passion. • Did more research on current practices, integrated more technology into classroom • Explained assignments in terms of targets and standards • Grading will always be subjective, but SBG provided common language for assessment (we, as stakeholders, were all talking the same language) • Held me accountable to what was going on in workshop days
  • 21. HOW I WILL CONTINUE TO BE BETTER • Next years’ staff is mostly new (about 20 new staffers), will need more basic instruction. • All staffers will create a learning plan at the beginning of the year (and at each grading period potentially) to identify targets and standards for that grading period. Individualized learning plans for what students will want to do and show competency in. • We will then map out the skillbuilding together, as well as formatives and summatives. • Work on aligning grading expectations for what standards mean (not all staffers have had me as a teacher so the SBG rubric will be new).
  • 22. HOW I WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE • Update staff manual with more reference pieces for staffers to use. • Continue AP Style quizzes (need to make new ones), as well as News Quizzes. • Increase workshop instruction days to potentially 6 a month, rather than 4. • Have students do more self-assessment, using the criteria from the rubric to expound on why they would score themselves what they do. Color-code stories as part of assessment (leads one color, quotes another color, transitions another, etc) and evaluate the quality of the parts. • Potentially change portfolio structure again. House portfolios in the classroom for easier access and completion?
  • 23. FINAL REFLECTION • Please use your Smartphone or laptop to go to • Log in as a student into room number: 793326 • Complete the exit ticket: • Your question: Was there something you thought I was going to cover today but didn’t?