Grading, Assessments, and Bloom’s

I know I’m supposed to do the obligatory “this is my first post, yada, yada” but that stuff is in my About page if anyone is interested.

For the last couple of years, I’ve done both the flipped classroom and SBG quizzes (still have summative tests). I don’t flip every lesson, but I like the time it frees up in the classroom and students not having long homework problem sets.

Based on reading and conferences, I want to also do self-paced and mastery learning.  I like a lot of how Graham Johnson (@math_johnson) sets up his courses and this document definitely impacted me.

Here are my thoughts for 2013-2014:

1. No grades on assignments/practice.  I used to grade for completion. Kids would just make stuff up to have it “done”.

2. Students will have a complete by date for each unit.  We will go through as a class at a typical rate, but faster & slower students can have a different pace if needed.

3. For any skill on an SBG quiz under 70, a student must retake until they get at least a 70 on all skills for that unit before they can take the Unit Test.  This helps with the issue of “I allow students to do retakes, but the ones who need it most never do it.”   I’m thinking for my Honors classes, I may move that to 75 or 80.  If Honors student regularly get below 80, then I tend to think they are in the wrong class.

4. The tricky part and where I have the most questions.  I’ve been wanting to tie everything to Bloom’s (thinking of the original taxonomy).  Originally my thought was C = Knowledge & Comprehension, B = Apply & Analyze, A = Synthesize & Create.  For example, when we do practice out of the textbook, students would be told which are A, B, & C problems and to do enough of each to make sure they understand the material at the corresponding level. Then, on SBG quizzes and Unit tests, there would also be A, B, & C type problems.  (I already do 3 levels of problems on my SBG quizzes). So, if you can do basic recall and calculation, you earn a C.  If you can apply to more challenging situations & analyze, you earn a B. If you can synthesize and create, you earn an A. I think this also differentiates instruction and assessment for various learners, but maybe I’m wrong or missing something.

  • a. Tests for on-level classes would start at a 50 (no one can get below that) & there would be about 25 points of C problems, 10-15 points of B problems, 10-15 points of A problems.  (side note: Our school doesn’t have D’s, 70 and above is passing.)  Not sure if I would start honors classes at 50, or just make the C level problems worth massive points each so they have to earn every point.
  • b. When I read Bloom’s, it seems like much of what we do in our classes have the nouns & verbs of Apply & Analyze.  For math, I think that Comprehension could be the basic calculations with very few steps. So, C level would be recall of formulas, definitions, matching, and basic calculations.  However, I recognize I might be stretching it to try and make it fit what I want.
  • c.  Where does graphing fit? It seems like even basic graphing might be at the B level. Or, could plotting a graph with points be Comprehension (C level), then analysis of that graph would be B? Being given a graph and creating a story for it or analyzing what it could describe – A or B level?
  • d. Should I just stick with C = recall of formulas, definitions, matching, and basic calculations, B = calculations with more steps, simple application problems, A = advanced application problems?  Those were my initial thoughts, but wasn’t sure that lined up to Bloom’s properly.
  • e. Does anyone have a Bloom’s list of nouns/verbs that is math specific? I searched google and found little.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far! I really am looking for feedback and would appreciate the thoughts of others. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Grading, Assessments, and Bloom’s

  1. Pingback: Assessment, Grading, & Reporting Thoughts for 2016-2017 | romathio

  2. Pingback: MTBOS week 1: My class is different due to no F’s! | romathio

  3. Holly Chesser


    Dang, as a blogger newbie, you’re off to an awesome start. I loved your “about” page – you’ve got such a writer’s voice that I already feel that I have a sense of your personality, although I have to admit I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t go with your instincts regarding your first blog title.

    As for your take on assessments, I’m with you. Anything that’s formative, I’m not grading traditionally. The kids’ identities already are so tangled up in their grades that it’s hard to get them to see assessment as a means to gauge where they are in the learning process. They just see it as a stamp on their foreheads. I want to help them see that “learning” isn’t something done to them; it’s done with them.

    I also like how you’re trying to quantify what grades mean. If they represent learning, what type of learning am I looking for? How do the levels of learning equate with Bloom’s? Great questions and analysis. I especially enjoy how I can see you trying to work these questions out in your blog, sort of like a window into your own metacognitive process on the subject of grading.

    My buddy Jill Gough, also a math teacher, blogs often about leveled assessment. She’s wonderfully accessible and smart like a whip, if you’re looking for a network buddy. Here’s her blog: She and Bo Adams used to co-teach a class called Synergy at Westminster.

    Anyway, can’t wait to meet. Looking forward to getting to know all you wonderfully passionate MVPS peeps.



    1. romathio Post author

      Hey Holly – thanks for reading and being my first commenter EVER! I appreciate your feedback and sorry to disappoint with my blog name. 😉

      I briefly met Jill at //fuse13 – Bo introduced us. I follow her on Twitter but had not checked out her blog – thanks for the link.

      I think you and I will be neighbors up on the 3rd floor – looking forward to meeting you in person too. I saw Emily Goldman a couple of weeks ago and she just gushed about you.



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