Nuts & Bolts: Assessing to Make SBG Work

This is a cross post from my ActiveGrade blog at – please read the post at It’s about: SBG is great, but, like all things, requires attention to detail and concerted effort. SBG lets you relax about your reassessment schedule; you don’t have to worry if it’s not balanced. ActiveGrade is the bomb, […]

Active SBG

SBG is all about description and specificity, but “SBG” doesn’t describe what I’m talking about when I say “SBG.”  Here’s the problem: “Standards-based” means “organized into topics,” but we’re doing more than that.  When we talk about letting students improve and show their improvement, we’re not just talking about organizing information.  When we talk about […]

Smart Criticism of SBG

One of my new hobbies is collecting criticism of SBG.  SBG has a lot of great properties, but the enthusiasm for it sometimes glosses over some of its problems.  One writer examining SBG pretty closely with an open mind is the author of Gas Station Without Pumps.  He/she writes about a lot of things, but […]

Personal Update: Next Project

Ahoy, long-time readers!  Guess what?  I’m starting a brand-new project!  It’s going to be awesome. I still have a passion for SBG.  We’ve gotten ActiveGrade all embedded in Haiku and they’re going to continue to do great work with it, but I’m heading a new direction – beefing up ActivePrompt to make it easier to […]

Use Promises to Remove Dependencies and Increase Flexibility

Quickly: What’s a Promise? A Promise is an object that helps you deal with asynchronous code. A lot of async code looks like this: fetchResourceFromServer(function(resource) { processResource(resource, function(successCode) { alertUserOfSuccess(); }); }); Promises DRY that up by encapsulating the “when this is eventually done, do this other thing” concept. Promises have a then method that […]

Language! Please!

Kelly O’Shea makes my favorite SBG blog, Physics! Blog! She recently wrote, Hey Joe, I think we’re on the same page. I don’t even let them use any sort of “re”anything in their language. They want to test, not to retest, their skills. If the extra tests are “retests”, then every test after the first […]