Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dipping my toes in the water

The SBG water, that is.

It's all over the twitterverse - teachers using SBG in the classroom to assess/grade differently.  I thought about it this summer but then decided I wasn't ready for it.

After all of the factoring nonsense that has been going on in precalc, though,  I decided to give it a shot.  Yesterday in my 3rd period class I gave them a 16-question factoring quiz that covered five types of factoring that I felt were important to know:  GCF, trinomials with a = 1, trinomials with a not =1, grouping, and differences of squares. The kids pretty much freaked out when I told them they were taking a quiz but were reassured to hear that they had the opportunity to make up the missing points on future quizzes.  I graded the quizzes and made a note on which type of factoring they were having trouble with. 

I based their grade on how many of the types they did well on the quiz.  There were only 2 students (out of 29) that got all of the problems correct;  everyone else has 1 - 2 (or 3 or 4) types of factoring methods to brush up on. 

My plan is to give them 4 factoring problems every few days.  If a student only needs to re-do the GCF part, then that's what they'll get.  If they're good with the GCF then they'll no longer have to quiz on that method.  At the end of the quarter (hopefully) every student should have a perfect score for this grade.  If they don't, I'll just continue this on until they do get it.

We'll see how it goes!

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