Monday, August 22, 2011

Problem Solving vs. Skills

I've been thinking a lot about how some kids can solve problems and some kids can't. My grading is based on skills not true problem solving and this has been bugging me for a while. Of course I know the importance of Problem Solving but when middle schoolers are all over the map with these skills, how can yu fairly assess it? I am also trying to convert my Earth Science class to sbg and it is so much messier than math. I think it is because of all the subjective skills. Too many words!

In math, I am currently content with doing lots of problem solving in class and keeping the grades based on skills. In science, I don't know how to do that, so right now, I am linking all the stuff we do to standards and generalizing to come up with the concepts. I'm not going to change anything until I figure out what I'm doing and how it relates to standards. That may seem backward, but oh well, sometimes you do need to back in slowly. I also need to do it this way because I share my science class with another teacher and we want it to be the same so I need agreement from her too.

Hmm.. Maybe I can just generalize the concepts or groups of concepts involved in the problems we do in mathclass and it will all become clear some day just like I am hoping for science.

This is getting quite muddled. This morning, I looked at my Algebra Concept List and thought it was garbage and then I had to redo a bunch of plans and things I had already copied. It wasn't all garbage, but the beginning sequence didn't make sense. What was I thinking when I wrote that? Maybe, I'm just tired. School hasn't even started. Luckily the kids will provide me with some good energy.

Time to sleep...

1 comment:

  1. I have the same debate with myself. I love teaching math through problem solving. This is my first year at SBG. I have come to the same decision as you. Classwork will be where the problem solving is done, assessments will be more skills bases. Homework is also a great place for problem solving. In this case, I give differentiated homework assignments. So I can assign different levels of difficulty of problem solving problems. I was at your session last spring at MCTM, very inspiring! Keep it up!