Beginning this year, Grade Four students at Sacred Heart will NO LONGER receive letter grades on their progress reports. Teachers will assess student progress and give student feedback in each subject area according to the guidelines set in B.C.'s new curriculum and assessment documents. Students will still be assesed using the B.C. Performance Standards in Reading, Writing, and Numeracy. The focus in each area of learning will be on the following questions: "What is the student able to do right now?" and "What does the student need to work on next?".
Personalized comments will be made in the 'communicating student learning report' (formerly 'report card') in most subject areas, and these will specifically outline some of the child's strengths, challenges, areas for growth, and suggested stretegies for improvement. Formal and informal conferencing between parents, students and teachers act as an even more effective way to discuss this information.
Students are encouraged to embrace a 'growth mindset', knowing that effort counts for so much, and that skill development often requires plenty of practice and setbacks along the way. In Class Four, students will have opportunities to revise and improve their work if they wish to do so on almost all assignments and quizzes, within a reasonable time frame - this will be determined based on the needs and situation of the student. Students will be strongly encouraged to ask plenty of questions, to take advantage of opportunities to conference with the teacher, and to show their growth and learning in a variety of ways.
Students will also be given a variety of RUBRICS (see below) to help them check their work to ensure they are understanding and following the criteria for a given task, and to help understand how assessment works in Grade Four. Marks are usually NOT based on 'percentages' but on wholistic marking and the use of rubrics.
Click the following links to see RUBRICS that will be used by students, as well as by their teacher.
PLEASE NOTE: Students in Class 4 have been given a copy of the rubrics below, but the letter grades have been taken off for them. I have left the letter grades on here for parents so you can see how their marks would correlate to a letter grade, as many parents still want to know about this.
Universal Assessment Rubric (Student Friendly) - WORK HABITS - see page 1 of this pdf
PLEASE NOTE: depending on the subject, assignment, and learning goals, I may use either of the above rubrics, or sometimes both, to assess the students' work. A copy of the above two rubrics was handed out at Meet the Teacher Night.
Although the emphasis has been taken off of 'letter grades' and is moving towards more of a 'growth mindset' way of learning and thinking, letter grades will still be written in students files at year-end for the time being in most subject areas. These grades, however, have very little impact on their school experience, and are not emphasized to the students. If parents want to know specifically how the student is doing in terms of letter grades, they may set up a meeting with the teacher to discuss how the child's current marks correlate with letter grades. (Also see the above rubrics for a general idea).
Two More Rubrics that show how assessment is done using the Performance Standards (for Writing in this case):
How will marks be assigned on daily work and on the term report?
Descriptors explaining the check marks on the term report can be found on the inside cover of the report card, but here is some more info about that:
Students in Miss Winning's class will get a mark out of 6 on most daily assignments, projects, and quizzes (see rubrics above), along with specific feedback about what was done well and what needs to be improved. As mentioned earlier, revisions can almost always be made to improve work - although it is also very important that students put forward a best effort on each 'first try' as well! ALL marks (not just big projects/tests) will come together to create a 'big picture' to help the teacher determine overall achievement in each subject area.
- If a student receives mostly 5's or 6's on assignments in a given subject area or skill set, he/she can probably expect to be marked as "PROFICENT" in this area of learning.
- If a student received mostly 3's or 4's on assignments in a given subject area or skill set, he/she can probably expect to be marked as "DEVELOPING" in this area of learning.
- If a student received mostly 1's or 2's on assignments in a given subject area or skill set, he/she can probably expect to be marked as "EMERGING" in this area of learning. (If this is the case, the teacher will contact the parents as needed to check in and suggest ways to help the student improve before the summative term assessments are done).
- Please remember, though, that marking is not based on averages, but on the use of rubrics and descriptors to give an overall picture of the child's progress. The teacher may 'bump the student up' if they showed particular growth over the course of the term (i.e. marks at the beginning of a unit of study were lower, but marks at the end of the unit were higher) or if they did very well on some of the more 'key' assignments.
If you have any further questions about assessment in Grade Four, please contact me and we can set up a meeting to discuss this further in person. Sometimes the information given here can be made more clear by looking at specific samples of student work, or by having an in-person conversation.