SBG in the ELA Classroom

We are in search of practical examples of using SBG in the ELA classroom.  Teachers are requesting direction with standards that contain multiple concepts within the standards.  For example, 

9.3 The student will apply knowledge of word origins, derivations, and figurative language to extend vocabulary development in authentic texts.

  1. a) Use structural analysis of roots, affixes, synonyms, and antonyms to understand complex words.

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  • One strategy that you could use is to break it down a step forward - "9.3a - roots and affixes" and 9.3a - synonyms and antonyms". I have been doing this with my students (although I am very "green" on my SBL journey), and it has helped everyone involved understand where exactly the problems they are having lie. However, I have not made the jump to SBG because I am still trying to reconcile that with my students' expectations of a numerical grade. 

  • Hello Rozina! In my Earth Science classroom I have many standards that have multiple concepts.  I have found that SBG is less important than standards based LEARNING.  Ultimately standards based learning happens once you are able to identify, communicate effectively, and practice with each and every students their own unique strengths and weaknesses of each specific part of a standard.  One practical way that I am able to implement standards based learning in my classroom that can be translated to an ELA classroom is the use of a strengths and weakness sheet.  I have attached a google slide show that explains how I implement using this sheet in my classroom.  After an assessment I hand these papers back to all of my students with their own unique strengths and weaknesses highlighted for each standard.  Then, we break into different groups after the test day based on what each and every student needs. (again see the google slide show).  As I implement this strategy after every test and gather this data for each student and communicate it to them, by the end of the year my students are able to tell me where they are strong and weak.  It is a pretty awesome thing because their focus now becomes about LEARNING and getting better at mastering Earth Science instead of them worrying about their "GRADE". 

    I also have other examples of how else I incorporate SBL this in my classroom. I would be happy to add more ideas/answer questions regarding this strategy if you have any :)    My AFL Strategy Google Slides

  • Rozina - I hope the ideas your receiving are helpful.  Some advice - we can "over-analyze standards" and create meaningless mathematical grading formulas unintentionally.  What's most important is that students are receiving the feedback they need to learn the standard.  What's less important is that teachers have scores that average together to get a grade for the standard.  That's why - IMO - the focus should be on SBL - standards based learning - rather than on SBG - standards based grading. With a G focus, we set out to justify a grade.  With an L focus, we set out to communicate in ways that increase learning.  Mindset and philosophy come first - practices second.  In other words, Philosophy drives Practice.  What am I trying to do?  Get a grade or increase learning?  That's an important distinction that can relieve the burden that comes with analyzing for the primary purpose of determining a grade.

    • Scott,

      Re: "over-analyzing" standards. You are spot on. We have a tendency to make each standard "walk on all fours." In other words, we see them as narrowly focused teaching objectives, rather than as exemplars. A little dose of standards-based common sense is expected by the Common Core authors. Excellent point, as well, with respect to grading.

      • Thanks - you caused me to re-read my comment and realized I had typed "meaningful" when I meant to say "meaningless"!  Oops :)

        I edited it to make it correct.

  • The Anchor Standards for Language L. 1, 2, and 3 are prime examples of multiple concept/skill Standards. Additionally, unlike all ELA Standards, they are ideally suited to SBG. Excited to share these assessments for this often-neglected Standards.

    Following are three diagnostic language conventions assessments: Grammar and usage CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1; Mechanics CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.2 ; and Spelling CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.2. Each is whole-class, comprehensive, multi-grade level, and includes a mastery matrix for progress monitoring. I am a teacher-publisher and, of course I sell resources aligned to these assessments (Please excuse promo); however, each is perfectly useful for data-driven instruction using any resources.

    Diagnostic Grammar and Usage Assessment

    Diagnostic Mechanics Assessment

    Diagnostic Spelling Assessment (with audio file)

  • I have a similar standard for World Languages. One of the ways we do this is to have a reading passage and then have students find specific words within the text. While this is a bit easier (IMO) with my content (We have the text in the target language and then ask them to find words that they would have to understand roots, affixes, etc to be able to "translate". But I think something similar could happen in an ELA class. You would have a text and then students would either be given a word where they would have to use roots, affixes, etc to determine meaning. Or perhaps be given a definition and have to find the correct word in the text. Or even given a synonym or antonym and have to use word analysis to find the correct word in the text. I typically have 5-10 of these types of questions on a text based test to assess the skill. Here is a link to the format I use. The first part is what I was trying to explain. Best of luck!

  • I spoke with a friend who teaches English and from my 26 years of teaching Latin we have some ideas.

    Focus initially with base roots that pertain to Science and Social Studies that your students are taking. We feel this is very rewarding for all involved.

    Affixes and their meaning and set up examples for decoding. Studies have shown drawing the word helps with understanding.

    A great example was when a boy correctly defines assert but when he drew it, it was insert.

    One factor that I have learned in World G is that most assessments are only a sampling of the possibilities and often does not show masterly or lack thereof. When holes are found in the learning then that material must be reintegrated into the lessons.

    I hope this was helpful but as I am still learning to use assessment based learning in my subject, this may not help. 1st ever discussion. 

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