Monday, July 23, 2012

Progress Reports

When I started on this journey three years ago, I wanted to simply add a visual bar graph to the student's progress report.  Dr. Marzano had shown studies that said this would improve student's learning.  At the time I didn't know why it would improve student's learning, but I thought it would be an easy addition. It lead me to where I am today!

What I soon discovered was that our division's gradebook was not compatible with outcomes (standards) based grading.  I needed a gradebook where I could group my outcomes, allow for individual student ordering of assessments, allow for professional growth in determining grades, allow for bar graphs, etc.  Our gradebook did not do this!  I looked at a sample progress report from Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading, Dr. Robert Marzano, page 115 - 117 and wondered if I could create something similar.  My brother is a whiz with excel and he helped me get started.  Over the past couple of years our PLC has expanded our resources and asked people in our division who have a strong understanding of excel to create a gradebook that fits our needs.  It has really grown over the past year.  We have an idea, present it to these people and they tell us yes or no or they'll figure it out!  Here is what we have come up with:

This first picture is part of our first sheet in excel (it continues to the right for however many outcomes the particular class has).  It looks like a paper gradebook might look like.  The student's names are down the left hand column, but across the top it is organized by outcomes.  In this particular picture there are only 4 columns for assessments showing.  However I have hidden the columns that did not have anything in them.  So this sheet can be expanded to fit however many assessments you might give for a particular outcome.  Notice, there is also a current level for each outcome.  There is no magic formula for this current level.  The teacher inputs the value they feel best represents the students current level of understanding (I will blog more about this in a later post).  You might note that I have not changed the titles for the headings of each column - they are simply assessment 1, 2, 3, etc. other than the final.   This is because assessment 1 might be different for different students.  It is simply the first assessment for that outcome that the individual did.  As I am using the same scoring rubric for all assessments for that outcome, it doesn't matter if they completed a different assessment.  I no longer specify quizzes, exams, tasks, projects, etc.  They are all just assessments.  


This second picture is what gets created from that first sheet above (this pic has been saved as pdf, so the excel format isn't showing).  The first sheet (above) is where the teacher enters in their data.  Everything is then linked to another individual sheet that looks like the following.  This is an individual progress report.  It has the student's name (Student A) at the top.  It shows all of their assessment scores and their current level for each outcome and then it has a visual color coded bar graph (I will comment on the bar graph below).  We have also incorporated a comment box and a behaviours box.  You will notice that there is NO average or overall grade anywhere!  These are what the student gets at midterm when report cards are handed out, as well as many times throughout the semester as each teacher sees fit.  My students will receive hard copies at least once a month, but we often have mini interviews after each outcome or two when they will also see these.

I love this progress report!  I like that it shows exactly where the student is at on each outcome.  I like that it shows the progress.  I will communicate to students and parents that they should not just look at the current level, but look at the progress for each outcome.  Is their level of understanding improving?  Maybe they only have level 2 (yellow), but there has been growth from 0.5, to 1 to 1.5 to 2, so this student is improving.  I like this because it gives a clear picture of where the student is at on each outcome.  They can then refer to the specific rubric to see what they still need to learn to improve their learning.

In my class I will allow for individual assessments a few times through the year.  So when I have a short interview with each student to find out what they'd like to review and reassess, we look at this progress report.  It is amazing how many will simply say "I need to get rid of the red".  They do not like to see red on their report!  Yet, if it was just a number and no color, it wouldn't stand out as much!  I have also begun to ask parents at interviews how they feel about these progress reports.  I've asked them if there is too much information.  The comments are "these are great, with a quick glance I can look at the colors and see if there is a major problem occurring."   I now understand why the research shows a visual bar graph will improve learning.

The other thing that I like about this is that excel allows you to write comments for a particular cell and then you can hide them.  There is a little red arrow in the corner of the cell to show that you have a comment there.  I use this function a lot.  I can indicate if a student received help, whether the students were working in groups, used their notes, whether the assessment was formative or summative, etc.  I will also write reminders as to why a student received a particular level.  For example, if I gave them a 3.5 I will comment as to whether it was because some understanding was missing or if it was a calculation error.  Some students will get a 1.5 because they missed a term in level 2, but had lots of level 3 and 4 questions correct or some get a 1.5 because they were almost at a level 2 but no higher.   These types of comments are huge when determining the current level.  They are also helpful when having interviews with students and parents.  We can discuss what is holding them back from reaching the next level.

This past year we were watching some Rick Wormeli videos and one that fits with this can be watched here.  It was really neat to watch this video and realize that we are making many of these changes!

I am happy with where our progress report is at.  We are still tied to the gradebook that our division has purchased for submitting final marks.    Our division is also implementing a new gradebook at the elementary level (and soon the secondary level) that is suited for outcome based reporting, but as of yet, I haven't seen it produce the type of progress report that we are using or even one that will be similar AND provide the key information.  Through this experience I believe the key points that a progress report need to have are: 1) separation of outcomes 2)  progress shown and 3)  visual bar graph.   The format doesn't have to be exactly what we do, but those are key elements that have helped students move their learning forward and assist parents with understanding outcomes based reporting.

59 comments:

  1. These are fantastic ideas, Carey. What a great blog! Thanks for posting -- you're clearly on an incredible journey.

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  2. Carey, are you open to sharing this excel spreadsheet with me? I'd like to see how you (or your brother) have set up the formulas and charting mechanisms to see if I can incorporate something like this in my own classes.
    Anne (MB)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes but how can I get your email address? Or do you know another way I can share it?

      Delete
  3. Is it possible to get your Excel templates?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but how can I get your email address? Or do you know another way to share?

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Yes, but how do I get your email? Or do you know another way I can share it?

      Delete
  5. Yikes... I am so sorry to AR, TVoss and Don for the huge delay in responding! I have received permission to share, with the understanding it is NOT a division approved "gradebook". We are still using it along with our division approved gradebook. I'm not sure how the best way is to share it... I'm not sure if you want to post your email in the comment box. If you are on twitter you could direct message me your email... @careylehner If you have another suggestion on how I can share it let me know! Unfortunately I haven't learned google docs yet so it's not an option.

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  6. AR,
    I'm going to implement the outcome standard grading system next year. Looking around for a way to make this easier I've found this page. Is there any way for you to share your Excel sheets? I know that it's «NOT a division approved "gradebook"», but I need something to start with. (Have you tried to combine Access and Excel?)
    Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Carey,
    Would you mind emailing me this template?

    vhusbyn@hotmail.com

    I've been trying to incorporate SBG in my middle school math classroom for the last 3 years. The document you've created looks AWESOME!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will email once I am back at school - I don't have a copy on my computer at home.

      Delete
  8. Hi Carey,

    I am trying to implement SBG this year and my school is solely percentage based. Your progress report/speadsheet looks great. If possible, could you please email me a copy? My email is mrswashn10nhs@gmail.com. I would greatly appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will email it once I am back at school - I don't have a copy on my computer at home!

      Delete
  9. Carey,
    Will you send me a copy of what you use for your standards based gradebook? We are working on this too and I am all about not reinventing the wheel.
    vlewis@stny.rr.com

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Carey,

    We are looking to begin working on this as well. Would you be able to send me a copy of your standards based gradebook?

    hitandrun96@ymail.com

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. would love a copy of the excel template. I'm excited to incorporate the rubric in my classroom.

    housjunki7@gmail.com

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  12. Carey,

    I have begun the switch to standards-based grading and my students are interested in understanding what they don't understand. Would you be willing to send me a copy of the excel template? I'm would like to incorporate it with all of my classes.

    hitandrun9686@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm interested in a copy. I've been searching for a SB gradebook on excel and haven't found just the right kind. Yours sounds wonderful. If you would be willing to share here is my e-mail: meike93@yahoo.com

    Thanks!

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  14. I am a high school English teacher in Alberta. I am currently going against the grain myself by making the switch to SBG. I have tried to recreate such an excel template for my SBG because the online programs I find inadequate. I realize the extensive time investment in creating such templates, but if you are open to share it I would greatly appreciate it. My email is salmonjesse@gmail.com. Thanks. Great article, you inspire the rest of us sitting on the fence between SBG and traditional grading practices.

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  15. Hi Carey
    I would be interested in trying your outcomes based grade book out if you are interested in sharing.
    kmartin@sunrisesd.ca

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  16. Hi Carey,
    This was an awesome post. I have been reading Marzano and other SBG articles as I would like to use this with my special ed math students. I love how visual it is. If you are still willing to share the excel spreadsheet I would really appreciate it. My email address is dfamily94@gmail.com. Thanks:) Mary

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  17. Hi Carey,
    If you are still sharing the excel file, I would love a copy to see how it is set up! Looks like my district is a few years behind in the SBG movement… who knew this 2012 post would be so popular! Thanks for the great post! Hopefully I can help my department make a smooth transition to SBG.

    My email is cnixon@southseneca.org

    -Chris

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  18. Hi Carey,

    I am a first year teacher who is considering using SBG in my physics class next year. One of my main concerns is how to provide students with progress updates, so I'd love to take a look at your spreadsheet to get some ideas. My email address is rachaelmw@gmail.com.

    Thanks, and I'll be following your blog in the future!

    -Rachael

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Carey,

    I, too, am interested in looking at your spreadsheet to get some ideas. Great blog! I have added you to my list. Thank you,

    Allison
    Agolem12@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good Evening,

    I am very interesting in getting a copy of your spreadsheet. We are moving to Standards Based grading. I would love to get a copy of your grade book rather than re-invent the wheel. Thanks!

    Angela
    amstahl@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Could you send me a copy of the spreadsheet? Thanks

    MaryAnn
    maryann.moore@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for this blog. I recently attended a DI conference in Las Vegas that has changed my view in grading. I am apprehensive in implementing Standards (Skills) Based Grading this year. I would love any resources to help me implement this. If it is possible, I would like a copy of the spreadsheet as well. Thank you so much.

    Ziniah
    beaslezi@collegedaleacademy.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would love a copy of the gradebook! Thanks!
    richardson.jac@gmail.com

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  24. Great work!!!
    I too would love a copy of the Excel spreadsheet.
    frenchjn@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Awesome data tracker. I would love a copy of the Excel spreadsheet.
    tmckissicre@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I would love to receive a copy of your Excel spreadsheet. Thanks! Phil
    lookout3826@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love the visual aspect of this. May I have a copy of your Excel spreadsheet? Thanks! Amy Holmes aholmes@wcsd.k12.ms.us

    ReplyDelete
  28. I would love a copy of your spreadsheet too. Anthonykc@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. If you are still open to sharing your spreadsheet, I would also love a copy. I and other teachers at my school have been working toward this, and it's so great to see that someone has already done it! I'm vcoryell at hba dot net. And you have learned G docs by now, right? :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Carey,

    I just stumbled across this post about SBG. I am a first year teacher and want to start using SBG in my classroom. In the beginning of the year I created an Excel spreadsheet to help track the student's progress. I did not use it because I did not set up my classroom to allow for SBG. Now I have learned how I can start using SBG. I would love a copy of your Excel spreadsheet to compare with mine and improve, if you are still sharing. I am sure you are very comfortable with yours now, but if you are interested I can snd you mine as well.
    Kristin Manna
    manna.kristin@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Carey,

    This is amazing! I'm wondering if I could also jump on board with everyone and ask if you could send me your Excel template for this?

    My email is morganvforrest@gmail.com

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  32. I just started SBG and am a little overwhelmed. You have created a great resource that I would love to implement this year. If you are still sharing my email address is bbaker@greenwichcsd.org

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  33. Hi Carey,

    Love the bar graphs! I put together a messy solution using some mail merge commands, but I'd love to see how you did it. Is there a place where your Excel sheets are posted? Thanks!

    Tom

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  34. Carey - are you still sharing your SBG excel sheet? I am jumping in this year and struggling with the gradebook. If so, my email is mtaft@umk12.org - thanks for considering!

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  35. Hi Carey, this is wonderful information. I'm just starting my journey. The district I work in has a grade book that supports the percentage points. Can you share any ideas about what to do in this situation to make it simpler for my coworkers and me?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Carey,

    We are on the road to full implementation of Standards-Reference Grading here on Guam. Could you kindly send me your SBG Grading Excel Documents? I am currently trying to implement the system but we are still in a traditional grade book on Powerschool. My email is ptranub@gdoe.net

    Thank you,
    Patricia Anub

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Carey
    In Tasmania
    experimenting with excel and would love a copy of your setup. Sorry you must be sick of requests but it looks perfect for my classes.30 students to track and criteria based assessment. perfect.
    kombiruth@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I would also love a copy of your spreadsheet. A million thanks!! brandy.zdenek@browardschools.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Carey,
    I would greatly appreciate a copy of your spreadsheet. I have been searching for something that makes sense to me and yours looks fantastic!
    leejaneal@aasd.k12.wi.us

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Carey,
    I love your blog. You have so many inspiring ideas! We are to be implementing SBG at my school this year. I have been searching for resources & I love your spreadsheet. If you are still sharing I would love to have a copy. We are a Google Apps for Education school & you could share through Google Sheets or just email me at ccravens@fulton58.org
    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi!

    I am a new teacher and your excel has been the best I have seen. If you are still searching I will love to get it- mpadilla918@gmail.com

    Thank you
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi! I would also love a copy of the spreadsheet. We implement SBG at my school, and I think your format would be very effective here. Thanks! seanathens@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. If you are still sending out the spreadsheet template I'd love to work from it to create a gradebook. Trevor-walker@telus.net

    Thanks,

    Trevor

    ReplyDelete
  44. Another request for this super clear and simply student report! I would greatly appreciate a copy of your template! Thank you in advance!
    tkim @ collegetrack.org

    ReplyDelete
  45. Yet another request for the template. we are thinking about instituting sbg next year
    thanx

    rj

    rolandjparsons@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. This is an awesome post and continues to be timely even 4 years later. Will you do an update post? As all other comment, I hope to start a formal approach to SBG and would love to get a copy of your template and thanks to your brother for his initial work. Ladsit76@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I am hoping to implement SBG next year but am having trouble figuring out how to keep things organized. Could you please share your template? I think it will be a big help! My email is lprongay@hazlet.org. Thank you!

    Lyndsey

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Carey,

    If you are still sending out this template, I would love to have a copy. I'm trying to bring SBG to my high school Latin classes this year. Thanks much!

    cbalcom@brophyprep.org

    Chabli

    ReplyDelete
  49. I wanted to start using SBG in my Spanish classes and have searched for a example that I can easily understand and implement quickly. You have created a great resource that I would love to implement this year. If you are still sharing my email address is enids.k12espanola.org

    ReplyDelete
  50. This is really great! May I please have a copy of your template?
    My email is ignus777@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete