Hello, reader! If you intend to post a link to this blog on Twitter, be aware that for utterly mysterious reasons, Twitter thinks this blog is spam, and will prevent you from linking to it. Here's a workaround: change the .com in the address to .ca. I call it the "Maple Leaf Loophole." And thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The People's Blog

Teachers : Help me out here. Jessica can benefit so much more from the collective than from just me.

I am a follower of your blog and others who use SBG in their classrooms.  This year I am implementing it with my Algebra classes this year for the first time with the hopes that next year I will be able to do it with my Pre-Algebra classes as well.  I teach 8th grade in a middle school. 
I love SBG.  It is working very well, minus a few small issues that I am trying to address.  Since I do not have a blog of my own (school district policy), I am resorted to emailing those that use SBG to find a solution to my issues.  I hope that you are able to help, even though you are busy being a teacher yourself.  If you are not, feel free to pass this along to anyone you think could provide me with some assistance.
Being a math teacher, I love lists:
1. Any suggestions for how to make creating reassessments easier? Even though I do not currently use it to help me, I have Examview available to me, but it is only organized by Chapter in the book, not skill and in order to find the skill I need I have to view ALL problems available for the chapter and weed out what isn't necessary.  I haven't been able to find an easier way, which is why I don't use it.  So then I am finding that my reassessments are mostly hand written and given to the students when they come in.  I want a better way to organize my problems into skill electronically to use from year to year and I can't figure it out. 
2. Since I teach middle school, specifically 8th grade, I found that by only keeping track of the highest score (in my hard copy and electronic gradebook), I have NO idea how many times a student has reassessed.  Which causes three problems, one I don't know what specific reassessements per skill they have taken so they don't receive repeats, two I have no way to gauge their continual struggles if I don't know how many times they have taken a reassessment, which also prevents me from sharing that with a parent.  With that information I feel I could have a great discussion with the student and parent about their comprehension of said skill.  And three, I am finding that my students are just coming in to reassess over and over and not coming in to receive help BEFORE reassessing.  I want to find a way to almost force them to come in for help, for example, before their fourth reassessment of a skill, they have to come in for additional help in that skill first.  But then I have to keep track of that information somehow and I don't have enough spots in my gradebook. :)
3. Actual grading, I use the 5, 4, 3.5, 3, 2, 1, 0 scale with the 5 being two 4's.  I sometimes struggle with what would receive a 3 or a 2.  I only use 3.5 if a smaller mathematical and non-conceptual error is made, but the difference between a 3 and a 2 seems to be my gray area...I don't know how to decifer between the two. 
Okay, I think that is it.  Thank you for reading and if you can't address my questions, please forward them to someone you think could help!

How about 987 someones I think could help? Comment away.