Types of SBG – using Marzano’s Format

Before I post any examples of my work on this site, I think it’s important to point out that I am using a format similar to Robert Marzano’s example in his book, “Classroom Assessment & Grading that Work”. After reading the book, I really bought into the idea of using rubrics (as opposed to points) to assess topics. He suggests setting up assessments with varying difficulty (or depths of knowledge). Section 1 is typically recall/simple concepts taught in class. Section 2 is the more complex concepts taught in class. And section 3 should be novel problems, typically requiring application of what was taught. Or as my friend Grant Wiggins has asked, what do you ultimately want the student to do with the content?

This type of assessment has its advantages and disadvantages. The best part is that I can fairly easily use a rubric to determine a score. If the assessment is structured correctly, a student won’t be able to do section 3 if he/she can’t do section 2. Or he/she can’t do section 2 if he/she can’t do section 1.

The disadvantage is that sometimes students do well on the more difficult material, and make mistakes on the easier material. Translating this into a score gets tricky. Marzano suggests that oddities should be resolved by interviewing students, which I think is a great idea, but is not always realistic. Another part of the problem is that I am just figuring out how to structure these assessments. They are not perfect and require constructive criticism. That is why I love the idea of using this site to get feedback from others.

In the future I will be posting study guides that I use to prepare students for an assessment. These study guides are similar to quizzes that I give in class. I won’t be posting any actual quizzes since I know how sophisticated some of my own students are. Any quiz I post would be found, duplicated, and shared the morning of the quiz.

Nathan Kraft


I Heart SBG

I didn’t start this page (Chris Robinson did), but it would appear that I’m the first contributor. I believe the purpose of this site is for math teachers (and possibly others) to share their experiences with SBG and possibly critique each others’ efforts. As I love pointing out what’s wrong with something (according to my wife), I couldn’t resist joining. I also just started SBG this year and I’m feeling like a bit of a noob. I need my wonderful colleagues to provide some constructive criticism as well.

Eventually I will get into the nuts and bolts of how I’m doing SBG. I’ve been helped my many including Shawn Cornally, Fawn Nguyen, Andrew Stadel, and Dan Meyer. Although it’s early in the school year, I’m already in love with it. I’ve gone from mostly summative assessment to mostly formative assessment.¬†Every assessment is an opportunity to fix things. I’m not freaking out any more when somebody fails miserably. I can help them out and give them another try. The students aren’t asking me what their letter grade is, but reading all of the feedback so they know what mistakes they’ve made. How could you not love SBG?

Going back to traditional grading would be painful.

Nathan Kraft