# Why SBG?

Though others have written far more convincingly and elegantly about why they use Standards-Based Grading (see dy/dan’s “How Math Must Assess”, Think Thank Thunk’s SBG ManifestoFAQ, and Parts I & II on this post from Take It to the Limit, among many others), I figured I should at least have some explanation for my halfway jump into it this year.

A discussion over in the comments at Sam’s blog got me thinking, and this post was inspired by writing a response there.

Standards-Based Grading means two things to me:

While meeting a constant flow of deadlines is a key life skill, even more important in my view are the following: independent self-directed learning, setting your own goals on your way to a deadline, and keeping trying until you have reached a goal. A math professor I studied with in college would always say that failure is the only way we truly learn anything. Making a mistake (using what we know and failing) opens our eyes and prompts us to learn a new way that will succeed. And this skill: the skill of persistence in the face of failure, and learning from your mistakes, is perhaps the most important skill I wish to teach my students. Even though it’s not on my SBG skills list 🙂, the very nature of SBG and re-assessment seem to promote this continual striving to get better instead of being satisfied with mediocrity.

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I believe this will be my last SBG-details post for a while. I’m hoping to get back to posting more about the content of what I’m teaching in Geometry and Computer Integrated Manufacturing, describing some of the projects we’re doing, and reflecting on how things go. But, for those of you who have liked my last few posts, I do plan on continuing to update my folder over on Scribd with weekly skills quizzes and other relevant documents from my foray into using SBG in Geometry.

Filed under math, teaching

### 6 responses to “Why SBG?”

1. Re-assessing makes some sense, but I worry about those who take only the latest grade or the highest grade on a standard as the “true” measure. See my post at http://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/sustained-performance-and-standards-based-grading/

• nyates314