Home > roger, sbar, teaching > Sat 7/9: SBG 2.0

Sat 7/9: SBG 2.0

This year, I am definitely going to continue using standards-based grading, but I am going to make a few changes to my grading rubric in an attempt to further distance myself from the traditional 0-100 ABCDF system. Instead of grading each standard from 0-10, I am going to try Marzano’s four-point scale. Here’s my qualitative description from my rubric:




Expert: the student can achieve at a superior level, demonstrating abilities comparable or superior to those of the teacher.


Proficient: the student can achieve at a satisfactory level for the standard.


Developing: the student can accomplish simpler versions of the Proficiency tasks.


Emerging: the student can partially accomplish some of the Proficiency and Satisfactory tasks, but may need extensive help from the teacher.


No evidence of understanding

I’m curious to hear from other teachers who use SBG about what scale they use, and how it affects their students’ performance. As always, any and all feedback about my posts here is appreciated!

Categories: roger, sbar, teaching
  1. July 10, 2011 at 1:19 am

    When I was a undergrad and later a student, I felt that I just outworked the grade, or maybe over worked it. I thought “if I just sink a ton of hours into the project, then I’ll just outwork it and get an A or a B”.
    I often wondered how much time my fellow students were devoting to their projects and whether we would end up getting the same grade.
    It didn’t matter because I chose subjects that I wanted to learn – but still, I could have been going to a picnic instead.

    • rwistar
      July 10, 2011 at 1:54 am

      That’s an interesting comment. One of the biggest paradigm shifts for students when they start getting assessed in an SBG setting is that they really don’t get graded on effort any more. If they satisfy the standard, they’ll get a good score, whether it took them 15 minutes or 15 hours to get it done. On the one hand, this might seem to discourage hard work; on the other hand, it does avoid the “plugger” syndrome where you get a mediocre student who winds up with a good grade merely because of being industrious. Industry should result in greater understanding, which would ultimately result in higher scores.

  2. July 10, 2011 at 1:23 am

    I use a scale similar to this one, although I have been thinking about switching to a 0-10 scale! 😉 What I found with using this scale is you really have to make it clear to students what each level looks like for the standard you’re covering, or you get students reaching their frustration levels quickly. What helped a lot was having students help make the rubric for what each level looked like for a standard (I think Marzano advises this in his book on SBG), so they were invested in the process and took some ownership in their learning, and didn’t see me so much as the person who gave them a 2 just for reciting an answer from a textbook (which, to be honest, is what most of my students received As for doing in the past).

    Another minor issue I ran into were having to reiterate several times that the numbers weren’t points; it almost made me consider making up symbols for each level.

    Good luck to you this year, and know that you’re doing a good thing here!

    • rwistar
      July 10, 2011 at 1:52 am

      Thanks for your advice. I was thinking I was going to write a qualitative description for 2/3/4 grades for each standard for each assignment, or at least for 2/3 grades. I agree with your comments about watching out for the frustration level. I also think you have an interesting suggestion to make the students develop the rubric.

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