We took a test on Friday over Chemical Reactions. It was okay. Better than I thought it would be actually.
Mary (one of my brilliants) made a small, inadvertent mistake on one of the questions. She did not put a coefficient in front of one of her reactants. I know this was simply an oversight on her part, she just forgot to go back and write it in. I know this because I know that Mary knows how to balance equations. I have seen her do it. I have watched her work with unparalleled focus to balance the most difficult equation I could throw at her.
Yet, on the test, she missed it.
I started using SBG with all my classes this year, so it is kind of my test run. My rough draft with my standards and how it is I want to really have everything set up. Ideally, I would have all my targets perfectly written with a rubric to go with each one*. I would also have each target set up so a "3" means they can do the skill and a "4" means they can apply it.
I'm not there yet.
Right now, my "4" means you get it and "3" means you kinda get it. I have been assigning a "3.5" when you make small mistakes or miscalculations, just like Mary did on her test.
After I recorded all the grades, I sat down with my hot chocolate and while thinking about something totally unrelated, suddenly felt bad about the grade I had given Mary. I tried to ignore it, but it just kept coming back to me.
Yes, she made a careless mistake. Does that mean she can't do the problem? No, like I said, she has mastered the skill. Does that mean her grade should be lower because of that? At the same time, a perfect score suggests she was able to do the skill perfectly. Her reaction upon seeing the test was simply to roll her eyes and say "that was stupid."
I don't know. It seems like such a gray area. I could leave it up to teacher judgement and just give her the "4," but what happens when Taylor makes the same mistake? There seems to be a lot of subjectiveness that I wouldn't be able to defend one way or the other. Although if a student complained, I could just ask him to show me the skill. This is definitely an area I need to work on (probably over the summer).
Ugh, I have such a long way to go.
You know what's good in hot chocolate? Peppermint schnapps.
*This is per request from my principal, but also a pretty good idea.