Just a little update on how my plan is working.
I have about 6 students (out of about 80) who are not passing a few concepts. I have given them passes, called home, had conferences and I'm still not sure they care enough, a few have come in, but they came in unprepared. They may think that I will pass them anyway, I'm not sure. I will tell them tomorrow that they will have an incomplete and no grade until they come in and reassess and do well on their low concepts.
Here are the problem concepts: fractions, decimals and percents (all Pre-Algebra or prerequisite skills). I have one student who cannot pass integer operations. It is interesting but they can do the Algebra concepts fairly well but can't do these.
I have 1 or 2 students who are so low that I am wondering how they will be able to do quadratics, third trimester. I may need to have them on a different path. I have been thinking about having different cutoff points at the end of the trimester depending on ability. Some kids are taking a while to get it. I'll still roll everything over but maybe that would be a good idea.
I am wondering where to end my Trimester 1 grades. I think they need to have had it 4 times in class. Our first trimester ends 11/11/11, which gives me three weeks. I think I will only be able to post grades for concepts 1-9 on Trimester 1. I won't have the start-up time next trimester which should help.
The midterms were good. Students did show good retention and a lot of students have been fixing up their DPMs on their own. DPM stands for Definition and Properties Manual and they are allowed to use it on midterms and finals.
I had some questions and some good discussion at MCTM last Friday. Only 6 people came to my presentation (oh well, I had 3 other talks I wanted to attend while I was giving mine). One was on homework. I am so glad that I am no longer grading it. I am amazed at how many of my students do it. Only a few smarty pants kids (like my son) are skipping it and that's usually because they don't need it. One person asked me about how I am going to make students reassess on concepts they don't show even minimal understanding of on the final. For the first 2 trimesters, I'll just roll that over. I'll make the grade on that concept go away until they reassess.
I have to do that now to a couple of kids.