Standards-Based Grading in AP Physics C

I learned about standards-based grading from the best. This blog post is my take on how to do SBG in AP Physics C. My APC students took AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 as a double-period, year-long course as juniors. They're taking APC as seniors—first semester Mechanics, second semester Electricity & Magnetism. This class is about taking the models we learned with algebra and making them more powerful. 

I use a scale of Mastery, Proficient, Approaching, and Beginning. Mastery is NOT perfection; the problems in AP Physics C are often too difficult for 97% of APC students to solve in such a short amount of time without talking to other students. I ask difficult questions that I don't expect students to get 100% right. Mastery means that the student understood the problem, used the correct model, and was on the right track. Most of the time, when I have the time, I have students check their own work and assess themselves against the standards. They are usually a little bit harsher than I would be, but I've learned to believe them when they say they deserve a "beginning."

My standards come from reading the AP Physics C Course Description. My standards are focused on the AP Exam even if my teaching isn't always focused. Here are my standards:

Using Haiku for SBG

Giving good feedback takes time. And to read such a long post, you're going to need to gifs, memes, and screenshots. So let's improve this post.

Maybe you used to love ActiveGrade for Standards-Based Grading. (Or, like John Baunach, you're just starting SBG this year.) And now you're using Haiku Learning Solo Edition. It's OK, but you're not sure how to use it. I'm going to use this post to explain what I'm doing to make SBG work for me on Haiku. I don't feel like an expert at all, but I've bumbled my way to a workable solution for me. It may not work for you. I'd love to hear how you use Haiku as well, and I'll update this post (and give you credit) with your ideas. For example, I give credit to Kelly O'Shea who asked for more pictures and memes. Hopefully, in a year, I'll just delete this whole post and refer you to something better.

Until then, let's get started.

Day 4: Finishing CVPM and Talking about the Grading System

We finished CVPM today. We had two really good discussions. One was centered on the question "Should the last dot on a motion map have a velocity arrow attached to it?" The other centered on the question "If two objects' position-time graphs cross, are they moving at the same speed?" We also carefully distinguished distance and displacement for the first time, and related them to speed and velocity.

More importantly, I introduced my grading system. I had a simple Red-Yellow-Green Standards-Based Grading system last year, but I think, just due to who I am as a grader, that my Yellow band was way too wide. I split Yellow into two different levels: Proficient and Approaching. I think this will help students know whether they are just making a few mistakes (Proficient) or whether they need to spend some time working on their conceptual understanding (Approaching).