I have to say I am pretty happy with the process even though I'm disappointed by the results. I like the Frayer model and I feel like the questions came straight from the information I gave them without being matching or multiple choice. The question I gave about 'modify the expression so it can be evaluated' was too hard and most didn't know what to do. That one was my fault. I felt like the others were within reach. My colleagues told me to stand my ground. It was only the first quiz and now they know what to expect. They will either rise to the challenge or fail. That sounds harsh to me but I will be curious to see what happens at the end of week two.
Now my first sbg skill quiz...
Algebra Skill 1 and 2 Skill 3 and 4
Geometry Skill 1 and 2 Skill 3 and 4
I didn't really have a clue what I was doing. Still don't. I know you are supposed to make your assessments first but I just don't get that yet. How do I know what to assess when I haven't taught it yet? I know, you're thinking "How do you know what to teach when you don't know what you're assessing yet?". Touché. I had 5 questions per 2 skills and only 4 skills on the quiz. So 10 questions. This really makes no sense. I see that clearly now. I don't know how to grade these. If there are 3 questions for 1 skill, how do I give them one score for that skill? What about when there are only 2 questions per skill? Does it change now? Is each question worth a 2 to achieve the maximum score of 4? I haven't looked at them yet because I have no idea how to assess them.
I know other people use Marzano's 3 levels of questions per skill but I need someone to explain that to me. And still how do you grade that? How do those 3 pieces work together to create one score? I'd like to ask one question per skill that is purely computation but then I don't know where they would get questions on a deeper level that synthesize, analyze, apply concepts, and you know, actually matter.
On a positive note, I'd like to brag on myself for actually running out of time to finish the lesson. More than once. That NEVER happened last year. I went from preparing 10-12 slide Powerpoints to 25 or more. No, it is not all direct direct instruction. Yes, I use pictures. What I've started doing is giving them a worksheet as notes. We do examples together on the board. Then they do 3-5 at their seat and compare with their partners. Then we go back to the board. I have them come to the board and draw examples or work out problems. While they are working I scout the room to check for understanding (oooh nice little sample of edu-jargon for ya) This way I am alternating their focus and while I am 'lecturing' they can actually pay attention instead of scrambling to write. (Yes I need more inquiry and a variety of other strategies and skills. It's week two of my second year. Work with me here people.) Then at the end, I created an overview sheet for them to summarize the important ideas associated with that skill. Hopefully that will be like a quick and dirty study guide refresher with the accompanying worksheet to provide examples. Hopefully.
I would like to explain that I am doing vocabulary separate from sbg skills because
- My admin asked me to
- Test scores show our students don't understand standardized testing vocabulary
- I know they have the skills but don't know what the question is asking