Monday, May 10, 2010

Looking Toward Next Year

I have several scraps of paper in a pile on my desk that contain short notes about what I want to change in my classroom next year. At this point, I don't know yet which classes I will be teaching, so the notes are pretty non-specific. In a desperate attempt to clean off my desk, I am recording those ideas here.

Standards Based Grading
1. Love it. Need to tweak some things. Need to do away with others. I jumped in here at the beginning of the trimester with two classes (Astronomy and Applied Physics). In hindsight, I should have started with one class and done it properly. With nine class days left, I am simply overwhelmed.

2. I need to edit my Learning Targets. My kids have been terrific about the experiment and have rolled along with me as I changed things up*. When I wrote the targets, I was basically copying the state standards. Ugh. Some targets were too broad, some targets were too narrow, and some just didn't make sense. My targets need to be more clear as to what is actually going to be assessed. I want the kids to be able to read the target and know what they need to do. I am finding this is not an easy thing to do with Astronomy targets.

3. I want to have something of a rubric for each learning target. If you want a '4', this is what you need to do. If you only have 'this and this' then that earns you a '3'. Most of the kids I have need that kind of direction.

4. I want a tutorial for each learning target. In my "spare time" this summer, I might start on that. Some of my classes overlap in concepts, but that will still be a huge undertaking. Probably a several year undertaking.

5. I am pretty sure I can create online quizzes with Examview (yes, I know, I am soooo behind the times). I want those put up on my website so the kids can practice the concepts.

6. Each target needs a remediation strategy/practice/plan. When a student wants to come in and relearn Getting Your Bearings Learning Target 3, I don't want to have to scramble around getting something ready to go.

Teaching Methods
1. My delivery is terrible. Part of the problem here is that I have taught a new class nearly every year since I have been at my current school. With few, if any resources. A big part of my years have been spent just being barely a day ahead.

2. Inquiry, inquiry, inquiry. Shawn, can I come live with you?

3. Differentiation is the word of the day. While I am told I do a pretty good job at this, I am still a little fuzzy on what it all is.

Wow. Summer vacation, here I come.

*It's entirely possible that they simply have no idea what's going on.


Unknown said...

Hi, n

I am a science teacher in ny and would love to discuss sbg and your implementation, if possible. I am really interested, but really struggling with getting it off the ground, conceptually (defining targets and particularly how to record grades). O liked a lot of what you had to day and would love your input.

Tracie Schroeder said...

taramsl - I will certainly help you with anything you need. I am by no means an expert, but it really does help to bounce ideas off of someone else.

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