SBG: Homework and Grading Questions

Had someone on the wiki ask quite a few questions and thought I would throw them out here for some more answers.

mrlongscience Today 10:02 am:

I'm slightly late in the game with my students coming tomorrow but still have tons of questions.

I only have 39 minutes a period so I often struggle to get through an entire lesson, and still have time for the students to work on practice problems from the book.

1. How many practice/homework problems do you assign for kids to work on?

I have 45 minutes class periods So I kind feel your pain. What I do is alternate between explaining a concept/group discussion to them working at their seats. So maybe will do 2-3 examples together and I will say do 1-4 on your paper now. They compare with their partner and then I call on random students for answers. Then we will do 2-3 nmore examples and then they will do 5-8, and so on. My goal is to make it all the way through one practice worksheet front and back and then depending on their understanding, assign (parts of) a worksheet for homework.

2. Do you just give suggestions on what problems to do since homework isn't graded and students have different needs as far as how many problems they need to do to develop competence with a skill?

I give them all the same worksheet and suggest they work on the ones they had the most trouble with. Our low level students have an extra math support class and so their teacher works through the entire sheet with them. Other than that, I leave it up to them.

3. Do you spend time going over the practice problems in class?

We do problems together throughout class so that they have a good grasp on what to do. The homework I correct and give feedback on individually.

4. Do you just go over the answers and ask for questions on practice problems or do you post the work and answers for practice problems on the board?

I haven't done either yet but I like the idea of posting them on the board. Actually, I'm thinking about printing them out with the answers on them so that they can make sure they know the correct process to get the correct answer.

5. What do you do with the kids who didn’t do any/all of the practice problems while you’re going over the answers/work in class?

I don't go over them in class.

6. How often do you include old skills on a quiz?

I plan to asses, for examples, 1234, then 1234567, then 45678910, so each skill is assessed twice. Still debating about doing a cumulative/retention test.

7. With skills, whenever students see an old skill on a quiz are the questions related to the skill progressively more difficult each time it's assessed?
I assess each skill twice and yes, the second time is harder.

8. Do grades carry over from quarter to quarter i.e. A student gets a 3/5 on the skill of Adding a fraction for the 1st quarter. Is that same skill inputed on the 2nd quarter? If the student re-assesses and receives a different score, do you change the grade only for the 2nd quarter or go back and somehow change the grade for the skill on the previous quarter's grades.

This depends on your admin and gradebook policies. My plan is to change it until that grading period is over. After that, I can't go back. So then I will input it as a new skill in the grading period they are reassessing in.

9. Does anyone haave written criteria for the score scale for each skill? I'll be the first one in my district to implement SBG and I have a feeling my administration/myself will want something to refer to when parents want to talk about their child's grade.

Check out the grading page of the wiki and there are some blog posts and sample rubrics explaining this in more detail.


  1. "Still debating about doing a cumulative/retention test."

    I strongly recommend a retention test. See my comments at http://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/sustained-performance-and-standards-based-grading/

  2. how do u teach maths to ur students?
    do u promote VPA?
    VPA(verbal protocol analysis)