Saturday, November 26, 2011

Too complicated!

I am starting to see that my whole record keeping thing is a bit too complicated and I want to simplify. I am wondering if I should offer the quizzes less frequently (I do it once a week now in all 5 math classes) or if I really have to record the data by had, then enter it into a Google spreadsheet and then enter it into our school electronic gradebook. The reason I record by hand is because I got into trouble last year a few times by inadvertently overwriting my data. I don't do sbg in my science class but that class definitely adds a lot to my load.

I want to know how my students are learning the skills but in my Geometry class I know I am making them do more then just demonstrate skills; I am asking them to problem solve on the concept quizzes. I am thinking about alternating a problem solving quiz and a regular (more skills based quiz) every other week. The problem solving quiz could combine several skills. I don't really see how this will cut down on my work except for the fact that I can assess problem solving and 2-3 skills at once.

I am going to read up on how others keep records. Maybe it is just too much because of my course load. I don't really know how to back off or to reduce my workload at this point. I'm open to suggestions.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I finished a trimester. I went a bit crazy with reassessments at the end and not I've made a Goggle form that students have to submit before reassessing. My plan is to check the spreadsheet every morning with my coffee.

I was very happy with the retention of skills in my Algebra class, not as much with Geometry. I think it's a big shift for my advanced students. They are so good at the game that they don't know what to do when the game is yanked out from under them.

I've also been thinking about how I used to assess. I never used book tests. I always designed my tests after making a list of objectives. I allowed test corrections. I thought I was pretty good at assessment then, but I knew that some kids weren't really learning anything. This is so much better than that. It is more work but only because it's my first full year and I've completely changed the sequence of what I am teaching. I use the book but it doesn't drive my instruction, I let my list and the students drive me instead.

I am glad to have a short break from reassessments. Thanksgiving is coming and I'm excited for my son to return from college. I need a break.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Last Week of the Trimester

Well, I am a little overwhelmed with reassessments.....I guess I predicted that. I am feeling a bit down about how this is all a lot of bookkeeping and still a bit of a points game. I do have students asking for more practice which seems like a good sign. For the most part I am satisfied with my classroom instruction. We are problem solving, especially in Geometry.

Next week (fri) is the end of the trimester. I predict that I will have 3-4 kids who are not passing. This is sad but they haven't listened and are still in the mindset that they can bumble along and pass without working. In Algebra, it is Percents that is causing them trouble. I put this in as a skill because I knew they haven't learned it.

I have let a few kids reassess without really proving to me that they can do it. I need a better system. I saw something on Sam Shah's blog that I think I'll modify and use.

That's all for now