Archive for March, 2013

So I have been working through and implementing an idea I had to do away with nightly homework but to increase student practice. It comes from a change in my philosophy that homework truly is practice of material not a true assessment of knowledge. (Maybe there is a longer blog post about this idea coming someday)… Back to my point. I did away with homework three weeks ago in my Geometry class. Read about it here
Well here is the update:
It is going awesome! I remember after the third section feeling like students were practicing, instant feedback was happening, and they were actually asking great questions. There have been some draw backs. 1. I grade more than I did and have to do it quickly so they get the feedback. 2. I still have a group that isn’t doing anything (I don’t think it is me). And 3. I am spending more time creating stuff. But at what cost… Students are learning!

Here is what has transpired: I teach a lesson and then pass out a half sheet with examples for students to try. I walk around helping, checking and giving feedback. On the back of the practice problems is a list of odd problems from the book linked to each of the practice problems (if they missed one or struggled). If needed I clarify any huge mistakes happening before they leave for the day. The next class, students walk in to two problems on the board (bell ringer style). They have 4 minutes to try to solve and ask questions. I then pass out what we are calling the “Prove it” sheet. It contains 3-4 problems that I normally would have graded in the previous homework days. But, now I have gone from 50% homework participation to 90% of my students working on the 5-6 practice problems, asking questions and attempting the 2 bell ringers and then completing the 3-4 prove it problems. I think that is where I see the success. Before they would not really attempt problems until the quiz! I even have a group of students that have asked for extra worksheets instead of always using their textbook.

Success has been felt in the questions that I have been answering and seen in the actual grades. Homework, quiz and even the test grades are higher. That is compared to last chapter and compared to the same chapter from last year.

I do throw in some investigations and activities here and there to mix things up. Some lessons go into two days so as a class we take a vote on when they would like to try and prove their knowledge level.

I grade on a “SBG” style rubric so each problem is worth five points and I just take the average as their grade.

It is going so well with my Geometry kids that I have started it with my honors Algebra 2 class. They are resisting it but I think it is because they really do need the extra practice more than they will admit or attempt!

Algebra 1 Taboo

Posted: March 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I am teaching during the intersession (my two week spring break).  I have to prepare 6 short lessons for a group of students that need to prepare for the Algebra 1 ECA (Indiana’s End of Course Assessment).  I was updating my webpage all day yesterday with blog posts that I want to index and came across Fawn Nguyen’s Taboo game.  I was inspired and started my own.  This is also my first attempt at putting something out there that I created.  I use and abuse a lot of other blogger’s creations so I figure it is only time that I start to share too.  Here it is:  A1E Taboo Vocabulary  (it is a word document…feel free to use/edit).

If you have any ideas of other words that need to be included, please leave me a comment.  I hope to print them tomorrow onto card stock.  I think I will have students create a Frayer Model for cards that they do not know.  I will update hopefully by the end of the week about how it goes.

Virtual Filing Cabinet

Posted: March 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Spring Break had arrived… two full weeks off, except 4 half days of teaching remediation during the intersession.  So today while watching basketball, I finally am trying to organize all of my favorite blog posts that I want to use and also my favorite blogs.  There are now tabs at the top to these two new pages.

If you know of any others that I should include, please leave them in the comment section!  I am hoping to continue to add to this…