Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nose to the Grindstone...

It hit me yesterday... the kiddos come back in one (yes one!!!) month!! EEKKK!!!!! All together this summer, I have been gone for 3.5 weeks for staff development (and another week for meetings at my school), so it has been a very busy summer and I've not had a lot of down time overall. Starting this week, I am "home" for the rest of the summer (other than 5 days vacation w/ my family), so I'm trying to get things off my to-do list and sent to the copy shop.

One of my previous posts dealt with some changes I wanted to make. Since I value your opinions, I decided to post some of the changes as I get them finished....

First up is my previous notebook idea...
I knew I needed to come up with a rubric/grading sheet to help make life easier. I decided to modify my old assignment sheet and expand on it to list out the materials I wanted in their notebook and in the order I wanted it to appear. Here is a copy of the newly revised Unit 3 assignment sheet. I should also note that I decided to collect notebooks each unit rather than quarterly. This may end up being a hassle, but I'm willing to try it.

Since one of my goals this year is to work on study skills, I am requesting evidence of student note-taking as well as a summary sheet for each chapter that forces them to reflect on that chapter's material. The summary sheet is an adaptation/compilation of Power Notes from AVID plus I-can statements from a blog I read last week plus a bit of self-assessment and peer tutoring. I hope it works as well as it does in my head. heheh

I would love to hear your thoughts!! I look forward to your comments :)


Sarah Cannon said...

I'm trying to come up with a better notebook system myself, so this is a good exercise for me.

Looking at what you have on the assignment sheet, I shudder at the grading. So many papers. And are you really going to go back through every homework problem?

What my Geometry teacher did, that worked for me as a student, was along the lines of David Johnson recommends in Every Minute Counts. We were responsible for keeping everything organized according to her sections.

While we took tests, she collected notebooks to grade. She'd look at a handful of things each time. Did you do the warm-up on this date? Did you get this homework problem?

I could see you doing a similar thing for your checks. Do you have that handout? Did you take notes on this day?

I think, even, that we were responsible for marking the pages that she was checking. If there was an issue (ie. "I didn't do the warm-up because I was absent and you don't allow make-ups.") students could write you a note. You don't have to spend the time searching for everything and they know in advance whether they have it or not.

Keep the notebook sheet with the student check column for students to use throughout a unit so they have the reminder of what may be included in your notebook check. Add sticky tabs to your school supplies list and have a saner grading session. Oh, and, NO LATE notebooks.

I really like your summary sheet, and may well steal that. It works well in my head too. :-)

Mrs. Temple said...


Excellent comments!! I actually will end up doing something like you mentioned. The notebook/assignment sheet is for the students to keep track of the material in the order I want - however, when grading, I will keep my own assignment sheet with certain things that I am looking for and their grade will be based on those items.

I hope this makes sense - I really appreciate the time you took to give me feedback!!