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What is the purpose of grading?: New approaches to student-centered learning

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Wednesday, June 26, 1:30–2:30 pm
Location: 204AB

Jessica Colavecchia   Dr. Nicole Mucica  
This session will demonstrate how a digitally infused standards-based grading approach to teaching provides multiple opportunities for differentiation in a student-centered classroom. You will hear the presenters’ personal journeys with standards-based grading and learn how develop digital activities and assessments focused on student-centered learning targets.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Accounts for Padlet, Socrative, Quizizz, GoFormative, Kahoot, EdPuzzle and Thinglink would be helpful and save time. Free version will be fine.
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Personalized learning
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Language arts, Math
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
For Educators:
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to teach participants a new approach to effectively grading students: using a standards-based grading framework and digital tools to differentiate lesson plans to meet the needs of all learners. Currently, many secondary classes are focused on test scores and grading. This approach however take the emphasis off the grade and put the focus on the standard (learning targets) being addressed. By using a standards-based grading approach, learners focus on their understanding of the standard (learning target) and teachers differentiate instruction to meet the needs of each learner. Technology and 1:1 environments provide a way to easily develop a multitude of activities for a wide variety of learners to help each student reach his or her full potential. The technology empowers the students' learning and helps create a student-centered classroom. Technology tools that helps students and teachers become successful in this type of environment include socrative, desmos, kahoot, goformative, edpuzzle, thinglink, masteryconnect, quizizz, and padlet. The presenters will demonstrate how they used the practice of standards-based grading and a cycle of pre-assessment, enrichment and remediation, re-assessment and reflection, driven by infused technology lessons to raise their Common Core Algebra scores by 11% in one year.


1.) What is standards-based grading?
Audience will learn about standards-based grading by engaging in watching two different clips that demonstrate traditional grading practices vs. standards-based grading practices. A discussion of comparing and contrasting the videos will occur. (10 minutes)
2.) Personal journey with standards-based grading?
Presenters will go through their personal struggles/successes/finding using a standards-based grading approach. They will explain the grading and tracking process and how that helps drive future instruction. Participants will actively participate in the cycle explained through various pre-assessment, teaching, and post-assessment digital tools (15 minutes)
3.) Student-centered differentiated classroom
A short video will be shown with live examples of differentiated standards-based classrooms in action. The video also includes student testimonies of why this approach works (5 minutes)
4.) Infused technology into a standards-based classroom
Time will be spent showing participants specific examples of how technology can be used to leverage a student-centered classroom based on individual student's understanding of a standard (learning target). Links to all examples will be provided for attendees to browse through. (30 minutes)

Supporting research

BookL Marzano, R.J. (2010). Formative Assessment & Standards Based Grading. Bloomington, Indiana: Marzano Research Laboratory

Book: Rethinking Grading by Cathy Vatterott

Book: The Differentiated Classroom by Carol Ann Tomlinson


More [+]


Jessica Colavecchia, East Irondequoit
Dr. Nicole Mucica, East Irondequoit Central School District

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