Oct

19

Filed Under (assessment, homework, in class, reflections) by Sarah on October 19, 2012 and tagged ideas, math, middle school, SBG

I seem to have been eaten alive by school recently (feels like I’ve said that before…hmmm…)

So, a quick update is in order:

- Both the kids and I continue to love the fact that they have the answers when they do their homework. They’re asking good questions in class, and are taking the responsibility of homework as practice seriously! I loved this post about a teacher who gave kids the test answers… and their job was to justify them! I’ve thrown a lot of new teaching strategies at the kids over the last few weeks, so I’m making myself hold off, but I really want to try it sometime…
- 7th grade pre-algebra hit a big wall when we had to simplify variable expressions… and I totally wasn’t expecting it! But I’m hoping now that we’ve (finally!) gotten comfortable with that, solving variable equations won’t be so bad (and they’ve seen 1-step equations before, whereas they were totally thrown by the notion of combining like terms).
- My 6th grade class is sailing pretty smoothly, and it’s a pretty strong group. I’m not loving our curriculum, so I’ve been working hard to find ways to make the content both more interesting/engaging and more challenging for them. When we were working with primes the other day, I borrowed this great idea from Kristen and we used the Sieve of Eratosthenes, which was a good challenge for the kids and really helped drive home the distinction between prime and composite numbers.
- I’ve used lots of other great blog-land ideas lately, as well – we played Fawn’s modified version of the block game in both my classes, and it was a hit! Such a great way to keep kids entertained while they get some much needed practice. After going through a few dozen index cards on math scavenger hunts in both classes, I got smart and laminated a bunch, so now we’ll have them whenever we need them! I created two separate circles of cards, because it’s already become very apparent that being able to differentiate them is really useful for the students (sometimes I let them self-select, other times I just assign them to one or the other).
- On the SBG front, I really appreciated the idea I got from somewhere I can’t find right now to structure quizzes in terms of proficiency – in simplest form, it would be 3 questions – 1 basic question that is foundational, 1 question that demonstrates proficiency when solved correctly, and 1 challenge question that takes it up a notch. I hope that makes sense outside of my own head… It’s Friday evening and I’m still at school because we have a fundraiser tonight (at which there will be pie! Yay, pie! Boo, 12 hour day at work on a Friday!)

October 20th, 2012 at 11:10 pm

I do my SBG that way, too. Maybe it was my blog you were reading. I hope it is working out for you!

October 21st, 2012 at 10:01 am

It was you! Thanks for making the connection – I’m giving a quiz next week that definitely doesn’t fit the 3 question mode (though it is leveled similarly), but I’m going to try and be better about more frequent, shorter quizzes. Thanks for the inspiration :)