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Reflections

May 30, 2010
  • From Betsy on Leesepea’s blog:
    “Students turn in an assignment (say problems 1-20), and the teacher checks it. THERE IS NO GRADE. The teacher simply marks the paper and returns it to the student. The student then fills out a simple chart that is divided into three categories. At the top is “Problems I Got Right”- students simply list the numbers that they did correctly. Next section is “Problems I Got Wrong, but Know How to Fix”. This is self-assessment. The child has to go back over the problems and see if they can spot the mistake. The final section is “Problems I Got Wrong and Don’t Know Why”. These are the problems the students need help on. The focus is narrowed for both teacher and student, and a quick way to see if everyone is struggling with the same thing. It is also validation for the student- 9 times out of 10, the first two categories will have more numbers than the last one. And since there is no grade attached, it is non-threatening. My students love this.”
  • Test Retakes – Since test corrections just seem to prove how well they can copy from one another, I would like to have them do some kind of test retake. My idea is that as I grade each test, for each problem they miss, I will also mark that on a separate sheet of paper. When I hand back the tests, I will also hand back a copy of the slip, and they have the option of retaking those problems on a new, different version of the test. The biggest hurdle I see is carving out the 20-30 minutes of time it will take about a week after the test.
  • The First Days of School Ideas:
    • Instead of just posting the section name, also post the objective(s) for that day’s lesson.
    • Give each student a pretest to see how well-prepared they are. This can include ideas and topics they would not have seen yet; at the end of the semester, give it to them again, so they (and I) can see how much they have improved.
    • Procedures!
    • Reverse roleplay interrupting someone who is speaking.
  • Class Participation grade – If a student does his Independent Practice assignment, he gets 1 point. If he demonstrates a problem/warm-up on the board, he gets 5 points. If he doesn’t even try the assignment, he loses 1 point. At the end of the six weeks, I total the points and give them a grade based on that total. It will count as either a quiz or a test grade.
  • Post class averages all year
  • Break lessons down into Say-See-Do steps
  • Change homework quizzes to be homework problems with different values (i.e. #21: Change AB to 17).
  • Put P.A.T. in place (call it “C.A.T” – Class Activity Time) – if this works, it should give me time for the whole “guided” practice and “independent” practice.
    • 15 minutes automatic
    • +1 minute if everyone is on time
    • +1 minute if everyone is seated when then bell rings
    • +3 minutes if everyone has done their homework
    • 15 – amount of time needed to go over homework (no penalty)
    • 10 – amount of time needed for quiz (with penalty)
    • Redeem every Friday (more than 45 minutes will be “banked”)
  • Use a “class participation” grade to incentivize doing classwork.
  • Print student information sheets on cardstock that can be cut to 4×6 and filed.
  • Based on something Stephanie figured out, I think next year, I will do right triangle similarities after trigonometry. When she was trying to make sense of the proportions, she put them in terms of sine, cosine, and tangent. (8-1 after 8-2)
  • Larry made three triangles out of posterboard to demonstrate right angle similarities that fit together.
  • I like the idea of giving them a test review exactly like their test. I wonder if it would work better if I gave them the test review earlier in the process, so they could kind of follow along as we go?
  • I don’t like doing chapter 12 between chapter 9 and chapter 10. Next year, we need to figure out a better scheme.
  • Chapter 9 depends on having covered chapter 8. Therefore, I either need to do chapter 8 before I really want to, do chapter 9 later than we have been, or toss out the book’s problems on areas (which we did this year).
  • Instead of using the quizzes in the book, I think I will try doing “homework” quizzes, where I have them copy down whatever they have on a particular homework problem. It’s probably important that I not do these on the same day the homework was due. This quiz format should have the benefit of taking a much shorter time for them to complete (although my grading time may increase). I think I will score it as ½ credit for the correct answer and ½ credit for setting up the problem correctly.
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