7.23.2014

#EduRead Why I Stopped Putting Grades on Papers

This week's article is "Why I stopped putting grades on papers".

My Thoughts
  • I like the idea of promoting discussion and conversation but I feel like I'm being dishonest by waiting until later to post the grade. 
  • I asked Ashli "For students who do no have access to the online grade book, how did they ever know how they were doing in the class?" Her response "I was fortunate that my school had computer labs that students can use before/after school and during lunch in addition to the laptop cart in my room (it was shared between the math department but kept in my room), so that wasn’t a problem I dealt with. In the past I had posted quiz scores using students ID numbers on the wall and updated them about once a week."
  • I never know exactly what kind of feedback/comments to give. According to the archive, we prefer provoking questions rather than comments.
  • I've been thinking about using Frank Noschese's quiz idea where students check their work and write their own feedback and then turn it in, so that the teacher assigns a grade later (I'm assuming?). Do these methods align? (lol just reading the archive where Shelli mentions this too...hooray)
  • What I've read so far is a list of common errors and making a key where students categorize their errors or we can just mark symbols or numbers to save time. I like the idea of a bookmark. Couldn't this go in our INBs?
  • I've been thinking about Bowman's sbg intro using angry birds and I've been thinking, why can't I just grade like that? It seems so simple.
  • It's like I have all these assessment ideas in my head floating around and I just somehow need to tie them all together. More on that later, I suppose.

7.21.2014

Made 4 Math: Notebook Holder and Light Switch






I plan to use this file holder as a notebook holder for my interactive notebooks. I plan on making one for each prep so there is room for all four. I spray painted and added washi tape to the bottom edge.



I bought this customized light switch from Etsy for 5ish dollars including shipping. It's made with vinyl and it was shipped the night I ordered it. It comes with the screws to install. Love it.


I hung a few streamers above my air conditioner and I love how they move with the air. It's like a little curtain!


7.16.2014

#EduRead: Even Genuises Work Hard

This week's article is Even Geniuses Work Hard by Carol Dweck. In this article, Dweck again works with the ideas of fixed vs growth mindsets, which many of us are familiar with due to her book, Mindset.

Quotes:

  • "Research has shown that praising students for the process they have engaged in—the effort they applied, the strategies they used, the choices they made, the persistence they displayed, and so on—yields more long-term benefits than telling them they are "smart" when they succeed."
  • "Students who take longer sometimes understand things at a deeper level."
  • "It is crucial that no student be able to coast to success time after time; this experience can create the fixed-mindset belief that you are smart only if you can succeed without effort.
  • "When presenting learning tasks to students, the teacher should portray challenges as fun and exciting, while portraying easy tasks as boring and less useful for the brain. "
  • "When students initially struggle or make mistakes, the teacher should view this as an opportunity to teach students how to try different strategies if the first ones don't work—how to step back and think about what to try next, like a detective solving a mystery."
 
My Thoughts
  • It's humbling how much our students' mindset can depend on our choice of words.
  • Pointing out the use of the mathematical practices seems like a great way to praise process.
  • My mentor emphasized "individual think time" where students try something on their own before any collaboration. I do this by asking kids to "stare at the paper" for 1 minute (using my timer of course) I don't let them talk until the timer goes off. This can help students focus on deeper thinking over time.
  • What ways can we show progress/improvement in student work other than pre/post tests?
  • I like the phrase "grade for growth". How can I apply that?
 

7.15.2014

#5Things I Cannot Do Without in My Classroom


#5 Space between aisles- I hate clutter and I can't stand when my students desks are too close together. Nobody wants the awkwardness of my butt accidentally rubbing against their back because I can't fit through the aisles. Another reason that I group my desks- more space for me! My biggest class dropped from 22 to 18 and moving those extra 4 desks made a huge difference.

#4 Card stock- I love color and especially for activities in class, I must have my card stock! It's pretty and makes everything seem more fun. It lasts forever, even when I don't laminate it. It's a must have for foldables and interactive noteboooks!

#3 Dry Erase Markers- I us them every day and so do my students. I have four giant white boards and dry erase desks so we literally use them for everything. I get SO much more effort from my students with a marker in their hand.

#2 Timer- I have a digital timer that also serves as a clock, calendar, stopwatch, thermometer, and random student generator. It keeps me on track with my bell ringers. Before I used it, I would easily let 12-15 minutes slip away! Now I keep it to 4ish. I also use it when I want to make sure I give the students enough time to think. It helps keep us all on task- I'm terrible at estimating time.

#1 Smart Board/Projector/Document Camera- Unsurprisingly, these are of major importance. Surprisingly, I really only use them as a projector and giant whiteboard.
Modeling, I guess?


What are your top 5?

7.14.2014

Made 4 Math: Tape Dispensers and Fan Blades


I have completed five years of teaching. Starting this year, I'm no longer a statistic! Hooray!

To celebrate (I'm just making that up), I decided to completely redecorate my classroom.

I have a theme of teal and green in my classroom and I'm always looking for cheap ways to incorporate more color into my room.

My two projects for today require stickers and duck tape which every good teacher has.


Introducing my plain $1 tape dispensers and my green polka dot stickers. I just made a pattern on the first one and followed it on the others as well. There will be one per group of desks.

Next up...





My chevron fan blades! Chevron is my all time favorite design. I used teal duck tape cut into strips. Then I cut the strips in half. Just like with my tape dispensers, I started a pattern on one blade and tried to follow it on the others. Sadly, when the fan is spinning, you can't really see it like I thought. Also, I definitely used a ladder and cleaned the fan with Clorox wipes first. Ew.