Monday, July 23, 2012

Progress Reports

When I started on this journey three years ago, I wanted to simply add a visual bar graph to the student's progress report.  Dr. Marzano had shown studies that said this would improve student's learning.  At the time I didn't know why it would improve student's learning, but I thought it would be an easy addition. It lead me to where I am today!

What I soon discovered was that our division's gradebook was not compatible with outcomes (standards) based grading.  I needed a gradebook where I could group my outcomes, allow for individual student ordering of assessments, allow for professional growth in determining grades, allow for bar graphs, etc.  Our gradebook did not do this!  I looked at a sample progress report from Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading, Dr. Robert Marzano, page 115 - 117 and wondered if I could create something similar.  My brother is a whiz with excel and he helped me get started.  Over the past couple of years our PLC has expanded our resources and asked people in our division who have a strong understanding of excel to create a gradebook that fits our needs.  It has really grown over the past year.  We have an idea, present it to these people and they tell us yes or no or they'll figure it out!  Here is what we have come up with:

This first picture is part of our first sheet in excel (it continues to the right for however many outcomes the particular class has).  It looks like a paper gradebook might look like.  The student's names are down the left hand column, but across the top it is organized by outcomes.  In this particular picture there are only 4 columns for assessments showing.  However I have hidden the columns that did not have anything in them.  So this sheet can be expanded to fit however many assessments you might give for a particular outcome.  Notice, there is also a current level for each outcome.  There is no magic formula for this current level.  The teacher inputs the value they feel best represents the students current level of understanding (I will blog more about this in a later post).  You might note that I have not changed the titles for the headings of each column - they are simply assessment 1, 2, 3, etc. other than the final.   This is because assessment 1 might be different for different students.  It is simply the first assessment for that outcome that the individual did.  As I am using the same scoring rubric for all assessments for that outcome, it doesn't matter if they completed a different assessment.  I no longer specify quizzes, exams, tasks, projects, etc.  They are all just assessments.  

This second picture is what gets created from that first sheet above (this pic has been saved as pdf, so the excel format isn't showing).  The first sheet (above) is where the teacher enters in their data.  Everything is then linked to another individual sheet that looks like the following.  This is an individual progress report.  It has the student's name (Student A) at the top.  It shows all of their assessment scores and their current level for each outcome and then it has a visual color coded bar graph (I will comment on the bar graph below).  We have also incorporated a comment box and a behaviours box.  You will notice that there is NO average or overall grade anywhere!  These are what the student gets at midterm when report cards are handed out, as well as many times throughout the semester as each teacher sees fit.  My students will receive hard copies at least once a month, but we often have mini interviews after each outcome or two when they will also see these.

I love this progress report!  I like that it shows exactly where the student is at on each outcome.  I like that it shows the progress.  I will communicate to students and parents that they should not just look at the current level, but look at the progress for each outcome.  Is their level of understanding improving?  Maybe they only have level 2 (yellow), but there has been growth from 0.5, to 1 to 1.5 to 2, so this student is improving.  I like this because it gives a clear picture of where the student is at on each outcome.  They can then refer to the specific rubric to see what they still need to learn to improve their learning.

In my class I will allow for individual assessments a few times through the year.  So when I have a short interview with each student to find out what they'd like to review and reassess, we look at this progress report.  It is amazing how many will simply say "I need to get rid of the red".  They do not like to see red on their report!  Yet, if it was just a number and no color, it wouldn't stand out as much!  I have also begun to ask parents at interviews how they feel about these progress reports.  I've asked them if there is too much information.  The comments are "these are great, with a quick glance I can look at the colors and see if there is a major problem occurring."   I now understand why the research shows a visual bar graph will improve learning.

The other thing that I like about this is that excel allows you to write comments for a particular cell and then you can hide them.  There is a little red arrow in the corner of the cell to show that you have a comment there.  I use this function a lot.  I can indicate if a student received help, whether the students were working in groups, used their notes, whether the assessment was formative or summative, etc.  I will also write reminders as to why a student received a particular level.  For example, if I gave them a 3.5 I will comment as to whether it was because some understanding was missing or if it was a calculation error.  Some students will get a 1.5 because they missed a term in level 2, but had lots of level 3 and 4 questions correct or some get a 1.5 because they were almost at a level 2 but no higher.   These types of comments are huge when determining the current level.  They are also helpful when having interviews with students and parents.  We can discuss what is holding them back from reaching the next level.

This past year we were watching some Rick Wormeli videos and one that fits with this can be watched here.  It was really neat to watch this video and realize that we are making many of these changes!

I am happy with where our progress report is at.  We are still tied to the gradebook that our division has purchased for submitting final marks.    Our division is also implementing a new gradebook at the elementary level (and soon the secondary level) that is suited for outcome based reporting, but as of yet, I haven't seen it produce the type of progress report that we are using or even one that will be similar AND provide the key information.  Through this experience I believe the key points that a progress report need to have are: 1) separation of outcomes 2)  progress shown and 3)  visual bar graph.   The format doesn't have to be exactly what we do, but those are key elements that have helped students move their learning forward and assist parents with understanding outcomes based reporting.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tracking Growth of Understanding

One of the student self reflection pieces I do in my classroom is have students track their growth of understanding.  I feel that it is part of my job to teach them a way to do this.  At the high school level we often assume a certain level of maturity, but we shouldn't.  Many students do not know how to self reflect and ask questions to guide their learning forward.  I ask my students if they know of a student who finished high school with really high grades, but then struggled at University.  Almost all students will put up their hand.  I tell them that it is important to be able to reflect on their learning and be able to identify any red flags that will hinder their success.  In University no one is going to teach them this skill, so it is important to learn it now!

Once again, I got this idea from Dr. Marzano, in his book Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading.  He has a couple of examples of student progress charts.  One is found on page 82, another on page 87.  I first started by using the one on page 87.  I had a chart for every outcome for every student.   They kept these in a personal folder that were left in the classroom.   What I found with this particular chart, was that it was simply taking up too much space (I could only fit two outcomes on a page) and therefore was a lot of photocopying.  Another example of a continual progress report is found on page 103.  There is a free reproducible found here.  This is what I ended up using.  Our PLC group adapted it to fit our needs.  Here is a sample of one of my student's progress reports:
We left approximately 5 or 6 lines for each outcome.  We also added a column for reflection.  When a student received a graded assessment back, they were to chart their results.  Since I was assessing an outcome using the same rubric, a student could easily track if they were improving their understanding or not.  It is crucial, however, that the student charts their scores in the order that THEY completed the assessments.  

We talked about how they would want to be maintaining or improving each time.  We talked about if they dropped on an assessment, they should be asking themselves "why".  "What did I know the first time that I now don't understand?"   "What do I still need to learn?"

On occasion, an assessment would not test all four levels of understanding.  Maybe the maximum score on a particular assessment was 2.5.  I had students who received the maximum score star this in their charts.  That way, if they had a 4, 2.5* and then a 4, they would know that they didn't actually "drop", it was simply the maximum they could score.  

 I had students tell me that this chart helped guide them when preparing for a comprehensive assessment.  They knew which outcomes they needed more work on and which they had a pretty consistent understanding of.   This also helped them when an opportunity would arise in class to have a redo (I would have a few days a semester where it was "student's choice" assessment day).  With a quick glance of these charts they could see which outcomes still needed to be worked on. 

These continual progress reports are also great for students who typically struggle and take longer to become proficient with an outcome.  They will (hopefully!) be able to see growth happening.  Even if they are moving from a 0.5, to a 1, to a 2, it shows growth and we will celebrate this growth.  I had a student my first year of doing this who hated math, thought she sucked at it, and wouldn't try.  Once I got her to realize that she was actually learning, her whole attitude changed.  Yes, she was only at a level 2 after the outcome was completed (completed as in formal lessons done, my outcomes are never completed until the end of the semester!), but she had started at level 0.5.  We celebrated her growth.  She walked away with a smile on her face and a positive attitude followed her to class from then on.  

I will continue to use these growth charts, in all of my classes from grades 9 - 12.   Even if one student benefits from them it is worth it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Outcome (Standards) Based Reporting

"In a standards based system, a student does not move to the next level until he or she can demonstrate competence at the current level.  In a standards-referenced system a student's status is reported (or referenced) relative to the performance standard for each area of knowledge and skill on the report card; however, even if the student does not meet the performance standard for each topic, he or she moves to the next level."  Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading, by Robert J Marzano, page 18.

Two years ago, our math department was outcome-referenced (I will use outcome instead of standards as our provincial curriculum is by outcome).  We were reporting on the student's progress for each outcome.  However, we still looked at simply a "passing" average of these outcomes when determining if a student was to receive the credit.  We encouraged students to meet at least the level 2 of understanding on all outcomes, but it wasn't necessary to move on.

After reading the difference between standards based and standards references, we started to question whether we could make the move to outcomes based.  We wanted to, but were a little afraid of that step.  We had already made so many changes to our philosophies and to our policies, we weren't sure we could handle another large "shift".  We still had colleagues in our PLC that were still trying to understand and make the shift to outcome referenced reporting.  We tossed around ideas of students having to be level 2 on a certain percentage of outcomes, or certain "essential" outcomes.  After some debate, we finally decided as a group, with support from admin, that we would move to outcomes based.  We made this change this past year.  We communicated it to all students and their parents.  We informed them that in order to receive the credit at the end of the semester, the student would need to have at least a level 2 on EVERY outcome.

I'd have students ask me "do you mean I'm going to fail if I just have one outcome below a 2?"  My reply would be "no you will not 'fail', but you will have to continue working on that outcome before the credit will be assigned."  We were not asking the student to repeat the entire class.  I would explain that this made more sense than the "old" way as now they would be better prepared for the next level as they would have met a basic understanding of ALL outcomes.  I asked them to reflect on where they were currently at with their feelings towards math.  If they struggled with math, I asked them to reflect on whether they felt they had "passed" all parts of math in the past.  We then talked about if you don't "pass" everything, then the next year it is harder to learn the new outcomes, which in turn means you may "fail" more outcomes again, which will lead to more frustration at the next level.  When explained this way they nodded and agreed that outcomes based made sense (even if they didn't like it!).   Outcome based also means a student can't ignore an outcome that they are finding difficult and still pass the class.  They HAVE to do the work!

We are very fortunate at our school (it is a large school - approx. 2000 students), to have an extensions campus.  Students are able to take courses on their own, by completing work through modules, or online, etc.  So it was pretty easy for us to say that if a student had not met the requirements by the end of the semester, they would simply enroll with the extensions campus to complete the required outcomes.

We also realized that many students would struggle with continuing to work on an outcome they were  struggling with on their own, so we set up some structures to assist them.  Our school hired a grade 12 student who was strong in math, to provide free tutoring 3 hours a week after school (1 hour a day, 3 times a week).  For our grade 9 students, the math 9 teachers rotate through 2 days a week of noon hour extra help.  For grades 10 - 12, teachers provided their own noon hour extra help.

Another teacher and I joined forces to allow our students two noon hours a week for help and to reassess.  We each supervised one of these days a week.  We also set up guidelines to help students organize their time.  We didn't want them to all of a sudden, at the end of the semester, realize that they needed to reassess a ton of outcomes.  We came up with a policy and had student support dates.  On these dates, any student who had an outcome below a level 2 would be put on a "contract" and given 3 - 4 weeks to ask for help and reassess.

The first semester we implemented this we knew we may end up with some unhappy or surprised parents/students.  We communicated it over and over, and sent out letters to parents reminding them of the policy.  One of the things we stressed in our PLC group was that we had to stick to our guns and the final progress report could not have any current levels below a 2 if we were assigning credit to the student.  The minute you break what you have stated, it no longer holds weight.  At the end of the semester we had a number of students who had not met the criteria.  We made the appropriate phone calls to parents informing them that their son/daughter was not receiving the credit at this time and recommended one of two options to them.  If we felt that the student actually did need to repeat the entire class with a teacher, then we told the parent this.  We had very few students fall in this category.  With all of the support provided along the way, there were not many students left in this position.  The other option presented was that their son/daughter would register with the extension campus to complete the outcomes, and once successful the credit would be applied.  We were pleasantly surprised as to how many parents and students were thankful for this opportunity.  "You mean I don't have to repeat the entire class?  Thanks!"   There were very few unpleasant conversations.

The second semester with this system went a lot more smoothly.  We found a couple of things second time through.  One, the students now believed that we were going to follow through and they knew they had to work to achieve a certain level of understanding and then maintain or improve this level.  Two, we found that teaching the next level was far easier than it had been in the past!  Instead of having to re-teach a skill that was necessary for a new outcome, I only had to review it!  Since all students sitting in my class had met the basic level of understanding in the previous class, I wasn't speaking Greek to some of them!  We were able to go deeper with outcomes as the time was there to advance instead of back up.

It was interesting as we met after semester 1 to reflect on how things went, that the issue of "grades" came up.  We still have to convert to a percentage at the end of the semester (grades 10 - 12 only) for the Ministry of Education.  We only converted if the student was receiving the credit, which meant they met the requirement for all outcomes.  If they hadn't then there was a "blank" on their report card where the grade would have been.  The comment a teacher made was that their marks seemed quite high and their class average was a lot higher than before.  I had to grin.  Yippee!!!!  That means you had students who LEARNED and are proficient with what they are supposed to be!   Dylan Wiliam says "we should set a goal of proficiency for all, excellence for many, with all student groups fairly represented in the excellent" Embedded Formative Assessment, page 22.  We need to stop norm referencing and thinking we can't have a lot of students at the top of the class!   Also, because we were now only assigning "grades" to students who had achieved EVERY outcome, there were no "failure" marks being factored into the student's grade.

We have learned from this year that it is very important to communicate regularly with parents on how their son/daughter's progress is going so there are no surprises.  It is also important to realize we are still dealing with kids, and they need help organizing their time.  We work on having students track their growth and take ownership for their learning, but we guide them with structure and provide reminders (contracts) to help them achieve.

Monday, July 9, 2012

4 Point Rubric

When I started this journey three years ago, I sat and listened to what Dr. Marzano was saying about the need for a new scale for assessing and grading.  I heard him talk about the 100 point scale being inaccurate.  He says "it is like measuring the physical growth of a student throughout the year but using a measuring tape that changes how long an inch is from one measurement to the next."  Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading by Robert J Marzano, page 41.  He did an activity with the people in attendance to prove his point.  I was amazed at how a group of educators could be so far apart when scoring on the 100 point scale!   He then furthered this activity, showing how we would all agree on the same score if we used a 4 point scale.  (Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading, Chapter 3)  I was sold!   

With some help from a couple of colleagues, I spent the next 6 months developing rubrics, trying them, revising them, before being challenged by my admin to come up with a general math rubric.  When I look back now, I realize how poor those first few rubrics were!  We were trying to take what we had from an assessment and fit the results into a 4 point scale!  It wasn't working!   So we sat down and read more from Dr. Marzano (he speaks of this scale consistently in many of his books!) and adapted his 4 point scale to fit our needs.   This is what we came up with:

Level 1:  This is pretty much bang on to what Dr. Marzano recommends.  We don't define skills/processes/knowledge/etc. at this level.  The student is simply inconsistent or needs help with the outcome.  

Level 2:  Dr. Marzano defines this as "simpler content" (Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading, page 48).  We defined it as the "basic level of understanding" for the outcome.  We expect all students to be able to achieve this level to receive their course credit.  These really are the basic skills, and if a student is unable to be successful with these types of questions, they are not ready to move on.

Level 3:  Dr. Marzano defines this as "target learning goal"  (Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading, page 48).  We have also set this level as the target level of understanding for the outcome.  We look at what the OUTCOME says needs to occur (not necessarily the indicators), and make sure that they can achieve this for level 3.  

Level 4:  Dr. Marzano defines this as "more complex content" (Formative Assessment and Standards Based Grading, page 48).  I would have to say we again, are pretty similar.  Here is where we look for deep understanding.  Many application questions are at this level.  Error Analysis is often found here.  We look for explanations of work, theoretical understandings as opposed to simply memorizing a process.  

Once we had agreed upon what each level would mean, we then had to sit down with each outcome, decide if we would leave the outcome as one piece, or "chunk" it ("unpack it") into smaller, more communicable pieces.   We then had to create outcome specific rubrics that following our general rubric.  This is what takes the most time!   We have discovered through experience that sometimes you will try one rubric only to discover that it needs to be tweaked/combined/broken up and that that is okay!   We will likely never have the "perfect" rubric!  What we do have are rubrics that are allowing us as teachers to be more consistent with each other and between students.  We are also now very transparent for students and parents with what is expected!

We have also discovered that we often have two types of outcomes.  The first is an outcome that has definite progression in the learning.  These outcomes are easier to make the rubric.  For example, solving linear equations - our math 9 rubric has level 2 is solving when there are up to three steps and no fractions; level 3 is solving any linear equation; and level 4 is situational/error analysis/explanations/modeling, etc.  

The second type of outcome is harder to define.  This outcome is one where there are many distinct pieces and not always in sequential learning.  We have also been encouraged to stay away from quantifying levels (ie.  "able to do three of five of the following...").  So this has made these type of outcomes the most difficult to write a rubric for.  Here is an example of an outcome from the Saskatchewan Math 20 Foundations course that is of this type.  The description in the colored boxes are our general math rubric I described earlier.

What we decided for this outcome was that the level 2 skills were basic definitions.  There was no manipulation of formulas/equations/etc.  We felt that because of the formative procedures in place a student would have lots of feedback and by the time the end came along, they should be able to answer all of those terms successfully.  The level 3 skills require some sort of manipulation or solving.  There is more to these skills.   Level 4 is still a deeper understanding.  You'll also notice that we wrote these in student friendly terminology.  When a student reads the rubric they read "I can determine..."

Every "graded" assessment, no matter what type of assessment (quiz/exam/performance task/oral/etc.) will be graded using the specific outcome rubric.  This allows for tracking growth of learning.  It is a consistent scale.  It does not change from assessment to assessment.

We have now created these specific rubrics for all of the Saskatchewan Math 9 - 30 curriculums!  We are constantly tweaking them, but there is a starting point!   We have also decided as a department and extended division PLC group that we will share these rubrics if others want them.  A person might not agree with every one of the rubrics, but they are a starting point to be used.

On a side note, we do assign levels of understanding using half points as well... 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5... but we do NOT define these with skills/processes/etc.  We use what we learned from Dr. Marzano in that these are used for students who are completely successful with a lower level and partially successful with a higher level.  I believe the half points are very important for a student so that they can see growth in their learning.

It has been two full years of using the 4 point rubric instead of the percentage.  Our students do not see a percentage on ANYTHING, even report cards, until the final report (grades 10 - 12 only) and ONLY because the Ministry of Education requires it.  It did take some time for students and parents to adjust to this change, but my last set of parent teacher interviews in April were the first time I did not have one parent ask about a percentage!  I feel we are making progress.  We have been communicating a lot better with parents, through letters, videos and emails as to why we are changing.  Once you explain to them that this is a much more accurate representation of what their son/daughter does or does not know they buy in.   I will tell them that in the past, if they saw a 75% did they really know what it meant?  Did it include behaviours?  Did it mean that the student scored 75% on every outcome?  Or did it mean that the student had 50% on three outcomes and 100% on three outcomes?   Did it mean the student had been successful with all outcomes?  Did the student improve their learning through the course?  A 75% does not tell you much of anything other than it norm references kids and people have their own opinion as to whether 75% is good or bad.  It is often referred to as "average".  However, if you see that your son/daughter has level 3 on outcome FM20.9, you can read the rubric to see what they have been successful with and what they still need to work on.  Our progress reports (which I will blog about soon), will also show what the student's levels of understanding were over time so that the parent and student can see if learning is occurring.  The mark is pretty transparent.  Nothing is hidden.  Since making this change I am very confident in defending a student's "grade".   When a parent comes in and asks what their son/daughter still needs to work on, I can give them an accurate answer!

Parents are also concerned about University entrance.  How will this affect their son/daughter getting into University?  I tell them two things.  First, we will still give a percentage at the end of the course so that they can apply (we have a conversion that is common to our department).  Second, I tell them that this is far superior to the past system, as now if a student knows that they want to go into a program that has very competitive entrance requirements, the student knows what they need to learn to have a deep understanding of each outcome and can work towards those higher "grades".  In the past it was often a one shot deal.  You learned the outcome, wrote the test, and moved on.  Now we track growth, encourage growth, provide opportunities to improve, and basically give a checklist of what needs to be done at each level of understanding.   Parents accept this when it is explained this way.

This has been a huge philosophical shift for everyone involved and although we are not all at the same place in this shift, we are moving towards a common goal!  That is we want all kids to learn!  We need to find the best way for this to happen and to me, the 4 point rubric is a definite piece of this journey.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My thoughts on Final Exams in Math

We (meaning math department) have been questioned lately on the necessity of final exams.  

"Are they necessary?"
"If a student demonstrates mastery earlier why do they need to write them?"
"Can you find an authentic task instead?"

These are just a few questions we've been asked the past couple of years.  Math is likely one of the last subjects where a comprehensive final is still given.  Now, having said that, we have changed our procedures and approaches to writing the final exam.

Instead of calling it a final exam, it can be looked upon as a summative assessment.  I believe that all of the assessments, whether termed formative or summative, that are done during the course of the semester are really formative in nature as the students are able to and encouraged to improve their level of understanding on any outcome at any time until the "summative assessment" (final exam) is given.  Even at that point, if a student is still not meeting the basic level of understanding (level 2), they are given opportunities to improve.  We have also moved our summative assessment to about three weeks prior to the end of the semester.  There will be one or two outcomes that are not on the summative assessment, as that is what will be done in the last three weeks.  We also spread the summative assessment out over two - three days and the students are told which outcomes will be on each chunk.  Our summative assessment consists of questions at each level of understanding (2, 3, and 4) for every outcome.  By moving the assessment up we have accomplished a number of things.  1)  They are not stressed about all their other final "projects" that need to be done in a short period of time.  They can focus on math.  2)  We are still testing understanding over time and at the completion of the semester (as stated in our curriculum!)  3)  We have time following this assessment for those who still have not met the basic level of understanding on an outcome to continue learning it  4)  it gives teachers time to evaluate and enter levels of understanding for all outcomes

Some will question why a student who got a level 4 two months into the semester should have to write that outcome on the final.  When I think about the 10 000 hours needed before you master a skill (Malcolm Gladwell, The Outliers) I shake my head at labeling a student "master" of a skill they have practiced for maybe 5 hours!  Most outcomes are less than 10 hours of in class time!  And yet we expect a student who has "mastered" the outcome at the time will actually remember this in a few months after new learning has been done!  Maybe our level 4 questions/activities need to be stepped up a notch, but at this point I am not comfortable that being a level 4 two months in will mean you are a level 4 at the end of the semester.  I only had a few students who demonstrated a level 4 more than once on an outcome and of those, most, but not all, were able to achieve a level 4 at the end.  Until my data shows that they will ALL remain at a level 4 I feel they still need to complete the summative assessment.

I try to teach the more complex outcomes or ones that are so critical for the next class, early in the semester so that we can spiral back through them over the course of the semester.   We do this through entrance slip questions.  I believe this really helps students improve their understanding of the outcome.  In fact, many students improve their level of understanding on the summative assessment at the end of the year!  This year I had 50% of my math 9 class score level 4 on outcomes on the final exam!  The majority of students improved their current levels of understanding so learning was achieved over the course of the year.  I was super impressed!

We do not average the scores of all of their assessments, we use professional judgement and look at most recent and most consistent levels.  The students know that if they improve on their summative assessment then that will be their current level.  I am always impressed at how well the students do at writing these assessments, when they know it can impact their grade in a positive way.  In the past, when a final was worth only 25% of their mark, the students would know what they needed to pass the class and thus I marked many crappy final exams!  Or they would know that a great score on the final would only boost their mark a few percent so it wasn't worth their time to prepare for it.  Now the students know they must demonstrate a basic level of understanding (a little bit of pressure, but this is truly a BASIC level, if they don't know these questions they aren't ready for the next level), so they actually try and don't leave entire pages blank!  They also know that they can improve their score and overwrite previous "mistakes" so there is motivation to prepare.

Math is built upon prior knowledge and I think it is really important that a student demonstrates at least a basic understanding of the outcomes at the end of the semester.  I want to know that they are ready for the next class.  If they have a  basic understanding it means that I might only have to do a quick refresher of the skill instead of having the student look at me as if I'm speaking Greek and they've never seen what I'm doing before!   This occurs in students that have not even met the basic level of understanding.  I want these students to do additional learning before I see them at the next level.

So my question is "Is math a unique subject where some sort of a summative assessment needs to take place towards the end of the semester?"   Does this have to be a written assessment?   Does anyone have a project/task/assessment that they do instead of a sit down written assessment that will test each outcome?    Should all students have to complete all outcomes or should we allow "recommends" or "opting out" if previous levels of understanding were 4's?  I would love to hear thoughts and suggestions from other math teachers!  I'm always willing to learn and share ideas!