Friday, July 20, 2018

More Thoughts on HW

Y'all - I know I posted last week about Grading Smarter, Not Harder, but to be honest, you can expect several more posts before it's all said and done!  This book might just end up on my Top 10 favorites list because every chapter so far has produced some really deep thoughts for me about grading and assessment.

I've had this book sitting on my Kindle for a while now but just hadn't gotten around to reading it.  I've read so many books on assessment and grading and didn't know that one more would make a difference.

But, this book is different.  It's not about Standards Based Grading so much as it is about what do you believe a grade means and how can we communicate that to our students?  It's about opening up lines of communication between the stakeholders (teachers, students, and parents) and being very transparent by letting our students know what they know.  It's about documentation of learning and helping students make the connections between the day to day classroom activities and the resultant assessment scores.  All in all, it's what I really needed to read this year to help me figure out some of the difficulties I've had in really helping my students self-analyze where they are, where they are going, and how to bridge that gap.

In last week's blog post, I was brainstorming a homework check sheet and here was my thought at the time:

Today, I finally sat down to start trying to piece this together and here's what I've come up with so far:

It's a half-sheet horizontal and because I see my students 4 times a week, it has 2 days on front and 2 days on back, split into the HW/Reflection and Exit Ticket areas.  The Exit Ticket should be self-explanatory, so here's what I'm thinking on the top part...

First off, I had already planned to limit my homework to no more than 10 practice problems per night, with at least 2 or 3 of those being from previous knowledge.  At the beginning of class, students will mark which problems they fully attempted and as we "grade" the HW, they will code the boxes (see Pam's blog post here) to indicate which problems they got correct, incorrect, struggled on, etc.  In the space below, I can either ask a reflection question over the HW or this can be the space for students to ask me private questions regarding the HW.  This is also the space that I can use to "stamp" the HW if needed.  Since these forms stay in their table folders, I'll be able to look at them and monitor them for any potential issues.

If you want a copy of the file or want to play around with it, you can download it here.
Fonts used:  KG Love Somebody and KG Second Chance Solid

So help me, MTBoS.... what needs to be changed?  How can I make it better?  What are your thoughts?

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