Saturday, July 14, 2012

Brain dump

I'm still trying to think through how I want to change things up this year - I need someone to step up and give me the perfect solutions so I can stop torturing myself!!!

First, I'd like to use warm ups and exit slips (cool downs?) in class. I've done warm ups a bit in the past but never exit slips, and I honestly don't know how to implement them without having to assign a grade to each effort. I'm thinking that if I give a weekly participation grade for the problems then I can just give feedback on the problems themselves. I bought red, green, and yellow bins (actually, @druinok got me the yellow bin because my Target didn't have them!) that I would like to use as turn-in bins. That way I could get a quick glimpse of how the kids are feeling about the problems when they turn them in. (Green = good, yellow = iffy, red = not good) I like Sam Shah's post here  where he talks about using exit slips (and make sure to read the very helpful comments, too!). I couldn't remember where I'd first seem this idea until Pam Wilson commented to something on twitter.  It was from her description of her classroom where she described using R, Y, G for exit slips.  We're going to go through a lot of the Exeter problems next week, which could lend themselves to some great warm-ups.

**I wrote this post as there was a discussion happening on twitter.  Here are some of the highlights:
(After I'd posted the above picture because people were asking about the bins)
@aanthonya@Fouss @jreulbach and what exactly do you use those bins for?

me  I'm going to use them as turn-in bins for warm ups. Red = no clue; yellow = need a little help; green = good to go

@mgolding@Fouss That's a great way to get students owning their learning. I love it!@aanthonya @jreulbach

me   got the idea here , thought I'd seen it for exit slips but can't find it now.

@jreulbach@Fouss @aanthonya that's cool. Will they be embarrased to put it in red? What will u do after a student goes red? Do u grade warmups?

me:     I don't know if it'll work or not; still working through how I'd do it.

@pamjwilson@Fouss @jreulbach @aanthonya@mgolding i use it for exit slips/post it note quizzes, most reds have been absent, their way to ask for help

me:     yes! That's where I saw it! On your blog. 

@mgolding@Fouss Would it go like? 1) Ss do warmup, 2) you post solution, 3) Ss check, 4) Ss place their warmup in right bin. @jreulbach @aanthonya

@pamjwilson@Fouss @jreulbach @aanthonya@mgolding use exit slips, if alot Y/R, address as whole class nxt day, if a few, pull Ss over sm grp or 1 on 1

@hey_bl: @Fouss @jreulbach @aanthonya@mgolding I like it because it doesn't give them the "I give up" option

me:      I was thinking "reds" wld need to give explanation of what struggling with.

me:      too many reds = scheduled tutoring time

@pamjwilson@Fouss @hey_bl @jreulbach@aanthonya @mgolding *love* this idea! reds tell what you do know/ are having trouble with.

@jreulbach@Fouss @hey_bl @aanthonya@mgolding @pamjwilson are you going to keep an official record of reds for tutoring?

me     would be easy to set up a spreadsheet for that. And good info if parents ask.

**I just came up with this form that I may use for the warm up/cool down idea....

As for homework, I am determined not to check for completion of a regular basis (like I've done in the past). I could either ask the kids to write down some specified problems on a half-sheet for me and grade those, give them similar problems to turn in for me, or just randomly collect and grade a few problems per assignment. That definitely gives me some options!

Speaking of grading, I've always given grades based on points. (258/431 = whatever percent) What do you all think of weighting grades? I'd only use them because I hate having homework count for so much, but if I'm grading assignments more (instead of using completion) then it wouldn't be as bad.

I invested in 19 composition books and about the same number of rolls of tape and am going to try the Interactive Notebook in my Algebra 1 classes (1 honors, 1 general). Megan Hayes-Golding is leading a session at Twitter Math Camp next week on how she uses them in class, so I'm excited to see how she does them. (Here's her INB post) With that, I've been saving a lot of links and images to foldables and would like to use them, too, especially with the INB.

I think that's it. For now. :)


Math-termind said...

As for grading...
My husband used to use weighted grades in his classes. The main problem was explaining to the kids and the parents how to figure out a grade. It seemed like a lot of parents questioned whether or not the grade was computed correctly because they didn't understand how to do so themselves.
As of two years ago, our district no longer allows teachers to use weighted grades (new gradebook software issue). To combat that, and the previous problem with parents, I have set it up that in my class that each test is worth double the number of points that the homework from that chapter was worth. So if we had 86 points for homework, I made the test worth 172 points. This seemed to work pretty well with the SBG/Traditional grading mashup I had going on last year, too.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't comfortable "not giving grades" for exit slips/target quizzes - I read Ken O'Connor's 15 fixes for broken grades 2 summers ago...changed my thoughts- so the next year, I gave it a shot - and found students tried harder b/c they knew the quizzes wouldn't count against them... I would have NEVER believed this - but taking the stress of a grade away actually opened most of them to better effort.

2 years ago, a couple of colleagues and I were given permission to experiment with SBG - and went to a 70% summative, 30% daily/learning; last year we went to 90% standards, 10% EOC/cumulative (district policy for EOC). I had a category in Infinite Campus(not a fan) - labeled "For Learning" 0% - I was able to record student outcomes on target quizzes to report to parent portal but it was not included in the final grade calculation. This is where I included date of 1 on 1 / RTI help in comments for "red" students and would add to comment after reassessment took place.

This year our EOC increases to 15%, after reading some Rick Wormelli, I am thinking of adding 5% daily/practice, leaving 80% standards

Educator Jenn said...

Have you thought about doing a gallery walk for homework. The problems are 100% worked out and the kids check their work. I do this to music and they know they have limited time. This year I am using laminated chart paper as the backdrop so they can write questions they have on the paper with dry erase and then I answer those questions. Homework is effort grade but then they have 1-2 questions mini-assessment they can use their homework with. Even if they just copy my work they have learned something. Just an idea. I love your ideas.