First off, I have found Math Illustrations to be very useful for me in creating problems for my skills assessments. It has made it much easier to create trig problems for the students.
After four weeks, my standards-based grading has gone ok. The main success for me is that I am not spending any time correcting homework, which is something I hated to do. The only things I correct right now the assessments. I give assessments every Wednesday and Friday. The assessments can be re-taken with one day of warning for me.
The main problems that have cropped up are that some of my students are having trouble studying for the specific skills that will be on the assessment. I have given them a notebook to keep worksheets, notes, and old assessments. Many of the students don't seem to be studying for the assessments and they try and ask questions of me after I hand out the assessments. I need to come up with a way that my students can be more successful the first time a skill is assessed. This is even more true because after the first time a skill is assessed, the question becomes more difficult.
I have also created a bulletin board that lists the percent of each class who has achieved perfection on a skill. Not many students are achieving perfection and it makes the classes look less successful.
Some students are re-assessing, but many are not. I am hoping that this rate picks up before conferences. I have also sent out an explanation of my new grading system and a progress report out to all families, which I hop helps the communication.
I also have not yet required students who re-assess to complete problems to show me they have been truly studying the concept they are re-assessing. This may change if too many students are not improving when they re-assess.
Conferences are in about two weeks and I will update my progress after that.