Saturday, May 28, 2011
This past week...
Thursday we had a Professional Development day and Neighbor Teacher and I presented on our implementation of Standards Based Grading. We had a classroom full of teachers, mostly math, but a few from other subjects too. The presentation was supposed to be 1 hour, but many people stayed over for about 30 extra minutes to ask questions. Overall, I was really pleased with how well the presentation went and I am excited to see where next year takes us in terms of assessment. From the questions and comments, I think several of my colleagues will be trying SBG next year in their classrooms. After the presentation, I started packing my classroom as I will be moving to our new math and science facility next year. After 30 boxes, my cabinets are completely empty and I am headed back up there today to do my desk area.
One of the future goals of the math and science departments is to create inquiry based collaborative projects and lessons. This next week, several of us will be gathering for a two day workshop to learn about this initiative. I'm eager to see what the outcome of the workshop will be.
Over the summer...
As always, it will be a busy summer. In addition to next weeks workshop, I have three more weeks of workshops planned, several items on my to-do list for next school year, unpacking my new classroom, and lots of naps :)
Friday, May 13, 2011
Here are some of their comments:
- Really liked working with a group/partner, but many felt they were too dependent on their partner, so they struggled when working independently. (My response: This year is the first year I've gone to almost a completely active classroom. As a result, the students worked on labs and activities almost daily to learn the material. While I did appreciate the reduced dependence on me as the teacher, I
did not anticipate the increased dependence on their groupmates.)
- Students felt the Gallery Walk activity was very successful. It forced them to read over the previous groups work and look for error and to see different ways that other students did the steps. (My response: I'm glad they felt this was useful, I had never used it before and now I will try to find ways to use it more often)
- Students appreciated that homework was only required for remediation/reassessments. The majority felt that we worked so hard in class (remember, they are the ones working, I don't lecture much at all), so additional homework they felt was unnecessary for most students. However, they did recognize that sometimes they needed to work more on a concept in order to really get it. (My response: I totally agreed with them here)
- One suggestion they had was to do more FR questions at a time. We do a weekly Free Response question, but many of them requested a monthly/quarterly Free Response practice that was multiple FRs at a time over mixed topics to help them prepare on pacing and seeing multiple topics at a time. (My response: I think this is a great suggestion and I will definitely implement it for next year)
Overall, I really appreciated their honest feedback and I will admit that this is the first year that I've had more positive comments than negative comments. I always learn so much from their suggestions and feel that this is one of the best growth opportunities for me from year to year. Now that the AP exam is said and done, I love reflecting on my year and planning for next year :)
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Now the race to the end begins... Graduations, assemblies, banquets, final exams, professional development, packing up.... Seems like every day on my calendar has something written.
I've started my to-do list for the summer and it keeps growing. Sometimes I look at it and think "Dang, I really did a horrible job this year"... I know that's not true, but it's so easy to get overwhelmed by all of the things I would like to improve upon. I need to trim and edit the list to a manageable level...
Two more weeks....