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Day 11, 12, 13 & 14: Growth

Last week was busy in Algebra. I realize that I haven't written much about Geometry this year, so perhaps soon, but for now, I am happy to relay that my 3 Algebra classes are going well with one complaint: Standards Based Grading is taking a lot of time. Grading is always the "one thing" that teachers tend to wish they didn't have to do. Often I hear, "I love being with my students, but the grading is killing me!" I love seeing progress and seeing what they have learned, but like many teachers, I too wish it would happen faster. This year, it seems that I made it take even longer with my choice to give standards based grading a go. Maybe I am doing it wrong? :(

Here is my method: I keep a spreadsheet  with students' names down the side and the skills across the top. Each time I see an error, I mark in the appropriate skill column. Then I consider the number of errors vs the number of opportunities and give each skill a score out of 4 (which for the unit 1 test, there were 9 skills, times 54 students, you do the math) and then record the scores in Active Grade

I think I spent 6 hours grading, writing feedback and recording the first unit test. Then after they fix mistakes and give it back to me,I go through the tests all over again. 

Not to mention frequent (every other day or so) skill quizzes with 1 - 2 problems to grade, write comments and record.


I am only one month in. I still believe it is worth it but I must get faster. 

Last week's theme seems to be reflection and growth. Students correct their work and give them selves feedback. Here are my Agendas from (most of) last week:

Day 11

 Last Tuesday I taught word problems involving interest, students took a Learning Target Check (LTC) on coin problems, they had time to start correcting that test I mentioned and to work on a blog post. 

Day 12

Last Wednesday, they turned in a week's worth of homework and I had them do a bit of self-reflection on the homework. They were to write 1 sentence of praise and 1 sentence of polish. I put some samples below. We did a sample of an age word problem and they were assigned another students word problem to solve. I was surprise, though I guess I shouldn't have been, how the directions of "Go to your assigned blog, find the word problem post and leave a comment with the url to your blog" was as confusing as it was... I will have to improve my framing next time.

Day 13

Another LTC (age problems), time to work on answering another student's word problem, time to show me corrections and to review.

Day 14

I taught a quick lesson on literal equations and then students got a chance to create their own and exchange problems with a partner. I had a few pairs whose answers didn't match come up to the document camera to show the class which lead to a few fun class discussions about the errors. See a few samples below. Again, there was time for questions and corrections.

If you don't already know it, I am a bit of a hippy. So yes, part of their homework was to consider our new mantra (I give a new one every other week or so) over the weekend. #learnandgrow


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