Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mastery of Objectives

So during a discussion on twitter today, @misscalcul8 and I were discussing the number of objectives taught per week. On average, in Algebra 2, I would say I cover 3-4 objectives. Her question, and a very valid one was this:

So how do you teach to mastery in one day of experience with a LT? I don't meant that critically.

Now that response is way over 140 characters, so I told her I would blog my answer :)

In short, the answer is "You don't." Mastery is not a one-day process - it is a long term process that differs for every child. You have to continue spiraling the curriculum so that over time, mastery is obtaining. Some of you may have seen the "forgetting curve"...

Here's how the forgetting curve works for me...
On the first day of an objective, I teach, they take notes, do problems, etc like normal. Then the next day, I give a "Checkpoint" - this is an ungraded formative assessment so I can provide written feedback and correct errors. On day 3, they get the checkpoint back, look over it, read my notes. (Note: during days 2 and 3, I am teaching new, but related objectives that I try to continue tying into each other). A few days later, there is some kind of cumulative activity to see how objectives work together, review multiple objectives, etc. There are also Jing videos that I have created and put on the class website that they are supposed to refer to if they need additional instruction. About once a week, there is a SBG quiz that covers that week's objectives. Again, lots of written feedback if needed. Over the next few weeks they are working on those objectives using self-check materials, the Jing videos, tutoring, etc so they can reassess. (In order to reassess, they must provide evidence that they have worked on mastering the objective)

In a nutshell -
From start to finish, the student has seen and worked with the objective many many many times, so that they are constantly bringing it to the forefront of their mind, spiraling the material so that they will achieve mastery.

Definitely longer than 140 characters :)


misscalcul8 said...

And I guess that makes sense. It seems kind of rushed to me. I know we are all pressed for time and I am way way behind any normal Algebra course but it's hard for me to move on to something new knowing that they don't understand what we did the day before.

Jason Buell said...

Yay forgetting curve! Pretty sure that's exact same google image I use. Just to put something in your head... what are the implications of the forgetting curve for both 4x4 block schedule and for project based learning.