How to Write Modified Marzano Learning Scales a.k.a. Brevig Mission Learning Scales

At Brevig Mission School we use a modified version of Marzano Learning Scales (element 1).  It's a four-step scale that leads up to proficiency (level three) and beyond (level four).

Disclaimer: The following learning scale is not aesthetically pleasing.  The content is pretty good (if I do say so myself), but, visually, it's pretty utilitarian.


Start with a learning goal, a statement of what you want my students to accomplish written as an "I-can statement."

(Note to readers: the above photo is not a product placement for Crayola. It is simply me trying to add some visual interest. Thank you.)

(Second note to readers: there is an 's' at the end of 'argument.'  I just ran out of room, so I had to write it below the 't.'  Forgive me.  Thank you.)


Often, the learning goal will be the same as level three on the scale (proficiency).   According to Marzano's Taxonomy, level three should be some type of analysis.

(Hey Learning Sciences International!  Notice I linked to the version of the taxonomy that's in your store and not to one of the [probably] illegally uploaded versions on the interwebs!  You're welcome.)


The  next step is to write level one, the basic knowledge a student needs before they can reach proficiency.  Level one is kind of like the foundation of level three. The Marzano Taxonomy calls this level "retrieval."


Level two is a stepping stone to proficiency. It's what you want the student to be able to do on the way to level three. The Marzano Taxonomy labels level two "comprehension."


The last step is often the hardest for me. Level four should be an extension of level three. It's not something that you'd expect all of your students to be able to do, but it's something you want your top students to reach for.


When I've written all of the levels on separate pieces of paper I tape them together.


Then I post them on the board and fold the pieces up to reveal the level we're working on in class. It's very high tech.


With the help of a magnet, I can flip to different levels. This works great until one of my students moves the magnet (talk about a first-world teaching problem).