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100th Day of School

I celebrated the 100th day of school yesterday by giving my Algebra students a test on factoring. Traditionally this has been a challenging unit and I was anxious to see if the more frequent assessments and feedback via Standards Based Grading would bolster their results.

I haven't tabulated results yet, but I noticed students are still struggling to know when to use which rule. General trinomial factoring with a coefficient of x squared was confused for grouping and sums of squares were too often factored into conjugates.

The good news is that I will continue to assess these skills (albeit infrequently) through the end of the year. Active Grade will continue to track their progress. I am 2 chapters into Make it Stick and I am already an Inter-leaver! I spent the weekend reworking my assignments to include random "spiral review." Review questions will pop up on skill quizzes and unit tests too.

Lastly, I am thinking of reordering the order I teach the concepts. Not being a common core school, I have a lot of freedom, though I have to cover a rigorous, traditional algebra 1 course in 135-ish 40 minute classes per year. Here is an alternative:

1. Order of Operations, Evaluating Expressions
2. Operations with monomials, polynomials, Simplifying Radicals and Rational expressions
3. Solving, Graphing and Writing Linear Equations & Systems of Equations
4. Solving & Graphing Quadratic Equations
5. Inequalities, Systems of Inequalities and Absolute Value
6. Radical and Rational Equations

I am thinking that the proposed reorder will also accomplish more interleaving as well.

When will I have time to completely re-haul the course?


Am I the only one with a blogging to do list? Well here is mine:

  • Wrap up on the golf problem and mirror problem from geometry. 
  • Frame problem in algebra
  • Sometimes they need worksheet
I am in awe of those who can blog every day. I am having trouble with once per week.

This photo of my desk, cluttered like my brain is these days.