This lesson is a System Admin's Guide to building Elementary Report Cards in support of Standards Based Grading.
Implementing a Standards Based grading practice needs a specific and delicate setup structure, in order to truly provide a reflection of a student's growth and mastery during a grading period.
Before You Get Started
Training is key, especially if the practice is new. DnA always to act as a supplement to support what you are choosing to be best for your students. Recommended training would be the following for the best support of implementing Gradebooks and/or Report Cards:
- Standards Based Gradebook Training for Teachers Beginning of School Year, preferably after Professional Development of learning the practice if new to the District or LEA
- Gradebook Follow-Up, Refresher, and Linking Assessments An early to mid-Grading Period check is also helpful to refresh grading practices, assist in changes necessary by Leadership, and encourage the use of Assessment Linking
- Report Card Entry for Teachers A week or two prior the entry window, provide grade level entry trainings to teachers on various entry options, printing, and gradebook configurations
It is not secret that teachers, students, and parents, do not like surprises. We recommend that when building a Standards Based Report Card, is not a surprise to any member of the audience. For a number of reasons, this supports:
Teachers, so that if grading is conducted as expected and taught, report cards shouldn't be too much of a surprise.
Parents are given an official document or information on the progress of their child(ren). After all, it is just a parent's guide to their child(ren)'s growth, is it not?
Students are typically already aware of their growth in a pure Standards Based classroom, so the report card should also not be such a surprise.
Bottom line is share the document with teachers from the beginning, even the very first gradebook training. This way the reason for practice is clear and the outcome is the Elementary Report Card.
Where to Start
Most likely, you have already begun the Elementary Report Card setup process. The following setup elements are in support of linking Standards Based Gradebooks to the Elementary Report Card.
From the start, if teachers use gradebook appropriately and in support of Report Card, the end of the grading period will not be as stressful, but a celebration!
Teachers are required to associate their assignments to the appropriate standards in a Standards Based Gradebook. Each assignment or opportunity to show growth is a single assignment, tied to a single standard.
The standard acts as the “common denominator” between the Gradebook and the Report Card. Basically, the Report Card looks for the values associated to the standards selected for the Report Card field.
It is important to make sure training includes having teachers' set the appropriate settings as desired by the District/LEA. While the Gradebook and Report Card can be different or calculate grades differently, it may help to consider in your implementation because there are two different opportunities for telling the students story and progress on skills.
The gradebook displays on portal for students and parents to see their progress anytime based on the teacher's gradebook settings. The report card while only provided a few times a year, should not be a surprise in results from the gradebook, unless desired by the District/LEA.
Contact your Implementation Manager, who can really help guide you and your implementation down a successful path from the start!
A Value Scale is how the data from a Gradebook or an Assessment knows the value to populate onto the report card. The Admin or Builder can create a scale that is different or the same from how the gradebook collects data. Ideally any changes should be communicated with teachers.
Since Standards Based Gradebooks use the scale of a Rubric, values are recommended to match that of how the Gradebooks are set up.
When creating a Value Scale, you will need to create a scale in support of Standards Based Gradebooks.
Field Groups and Fields are how you populate the Teacher's Entry Screen. Typically, Field Groups are by Subject and Fields are for each of the areas data will populate in the Field Group.
The structure of your Field Groups and Fields depends on design and structure of the Elementary Report Card. This may vary across District/LEA.
The example shows two options on how you may think of setting up Field Groups and Fields.
|Option||Field Group||Field Type||Standard Setup||Grade Levels|
Cluster or Domain Specific (multiple standards)
|Mathematics||Assessment or Gradebook Score||All Standards in support of Domain for all grade levels
||Multiple with the same Field Group and Fields. For example, Grades 3-5 may have the same Field Group of Mathematics and same domains or clusters, just different standards. All standards for grades 3-5 can be selected when creating this field. Then, the field group can be used for three report cards.
Standard Specific (single standards)
|Reading Literature||Assessment or Gradebook Score||Single Standard in support of field.||By Grade Level since each report card is unique in design. For example, it specifically says RL 3.2. That means this field group and field, can only be used for Grade 3.
Visit Step 8 - Create Report Card Fields for more details on how to create a field.
This step is where the data is coming from and how it should act on the entry screen.
The following settings and options are required:
- Name (2) of the field
Select the Field Type (3) of Assessment or GradeBook Score
- Options enabled will default based on selection
- Select the Value Scale (4) created previously
- Select the Category Weight Aggregation Algorithum (5) of Rubric (beta)
Once these settings have been selected, a new section called Category will appear at the bottom of your screen to confirm how data from a Gradebook will populate on the report card.
A Category in report cards is more like a criteria on how this field will populate data. In this case, the field settings are to pull from a Standards Based Gradebook using a Rubric Value Scale.
This is where the data from an Assessment or Gradebook knows how to be calculated onto the report card. It isn't just a "copy/paste" value, but the data gets recalculated with a new value as you set it, onto the report card.
Because you are using Standards Based Gradebooks, the only option available is the Category Type (6) of Standard. This means the data will be pulling from assignments linked to specific standards in this field.
Select the checkbox Allow Teachers to Link Gradebooks (7) which will enable a teacher's ability to link Gradebooks to the report card.
Required are to select and choose the Standards (8) that should calculate a value in this field. For example, if the field is for MD 1.1, then you need to select all the standards that are acceptable for that field.
Below explains a little more about Aggregate Calculations (9) but this is how the values from Gradebook and selected standards will calculate. Typically such calculations are chosen in similar support of how the Gradebook is setup.
By default, most users will not use Rounding options. Rounding is an optional feature only if decimals are being practiced in Standards Based Gradebooks. If decimals are being used, then a Rounding Preference and Round Calculation To needs to be selected. Best practice is to match such settings with Gradebook practices. If changes are made between a Gradebook and Report Card, it is always recommended to communicate such changes to teachers.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Now you need to select an Aggregate Calculation. Gasp! What is this confounded thing?! This how the Report Card module is actually going to calculate the students’ grades based on the Gradebook values. There are a ton of options, and it will look scary at first, but it’s really not that bad.
Looking at this list, you see a variety of XXXStrandXXXStandard. Here is what this really means:
- Strand You can combine Standard Scores into a “Strand” much like you can combine Standard Scores into a GB Overall Score (in the SBGB). Think of it like a new "overall grade".
- Standard Just like in a SBGB you can specify ways the assignment scores contribute to the “Standard Score”
If it helps, at best, you can match how the Gradebook is setup to your Report Card needs. For example, if teachers' have settings such as Minimim Standard Score and Maximum Overall Grade (or strand), then in Report Card setup, look for MaxStrandMinStandard.
Learn more about Standards Based Gradebook calculations here.
How Does Strand and Standard Work Exactly?
Let's take a look...
Let’s say a student received a 3, 4, 4 on Standard 1.1 and you’ve chosen “minimum” for the “Standard Score.” This means that the student will receive a “3” for Standard 1.1.
Now, let’s say a student received a Standard Score of “5” on Standard 1.2 and (from our earlier example) a Standard Score of “3” for Standard 1.1.
Still with me?
If so, then let’s say you chose “maximum” for the “Strand.” This means the student will receive a “5” since that was the maximum value across all of the minimum values for the standards in the strand.
Need help getting started? DnA provides report card support such as e-learning trainings, regional workshops, and report card building services. View our flyer here to learn more.
Continue building Field Groups and Fields as appropriate in support of Standards Based Gradebooks. Refer to Step 8 - Create Report Card Fields.