Rather than standard letter or number grades, we grade our students on a scale of 1-4. We have specific rubrics for our standards, but they're generally designed like this:
- A "one" means that even with additional support and scaffolds, the student is not yet successful with the task.
- A "two" means that the student can do the task with support.
- A "three" means the student can complete the task accurately, consistently, and independently.
- A "four" means the student shows a level of understanding that exceeds expectations for fourth grade.
At the beginning of the year, I introduce this using the terms "novice," "apprentice," "practitioner," and "expert."
(Forgive the faded, gross-looking green marker. I'll be making cuter posters next year...)
We use this poster to talk about the meaning of each term, and I'll regularly have students hold up 1-4 fingers to self-assess at the end of a lesson. It's a good way for me to monitor who is ready to get started working independently and who will need a little more help.
When it's time for me to grade student work, I can use my district's 1-4 scale, and it lines up fairly well with this self-assessment scale. Usually I can quickly spot-check and tell who is a 1 and a 4 on an assignment; it's just the 2's vs. 3's that take a little longer to decide sometimes.
Update: Stephanie over at 3rd Grade Thoughts has made posters using this language. Head over to her blog to get her freebie!
What do you use for self-assessing in your classroom? Feel free to share in the comments section below!