Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Game

I'm a bit weary of fighting against the game and the games.....I just read Shawn Cornally's post on MineCraft and I'm thinking that though I have put up a good fight this year, I am pretty beat. How is a 49 year old nerd like me supposed to compete with Black Ops? (Hey, at least I know what Black Ops is.)

I'm doing the sbg thing, trying to avoid giving points for anything that's not learning, trying to engage with interesting things I find, etc....but part of me thinks that it's too hard to win this battle, at least this year.

My Algebra students are doing great but my Geometry kids are just not motivated enough for me. I gave them their midterm, all concepts we've been working on since the beginning of the trimester, they were allowed to use notes (only three of them did) and they did lousy. This was not the case last trimester so I'm wondering what happened. I have 25 students and only 3 got A's and 3 B's, the rest were C's with a handful of D's and F's. The test looked like a longer concept quiz (only 4 more concepts than usual) and the questions were recycled from old quizzes. I think I'll meet with each of them individually tomorrow and find out what's going on. I'll have them reflect a bit first.

The midterm is worth very little to their grade but it was worth a lot to me because I was using it to check long term retention. I wish it was worth as much to them.


  1. Do you let their grades drop throughout the year or are you letting them keep their highest score on each skill? If you're worried about retention I would allow their grades to drop if you don't already, it may make things bad for a while, but they will eventually need to remediate to improve. Let us know what your geometry kids had to say for themselves about this trimester.

  2. I have not let their grades drop. I want to change that. I think what I will do is to add back concepts that are showing low retention and that their score should always be the last two. I like that idea, I had read about it. I don't think I'll make any changes this late in the year (but I might-I'm not afraid to change things when they're not working). I didn't have individual meetings today, I'll try that on Friday and I'll post about it after I find out what they have to say.