I decided to go ahead and start my list so that as soon as school ends, I know exactly where to start. (Some are ideas and things I don't need to create or that I can't do until school starts.)
What I Want For Next Year
- Binders I don't use textbooks so everything is a worksheet/handout and they are everywhere. I am too anal to let this continue. So everyone will have binders with dividers and a little bag to hold all of their supplies in. My AP suggested making them classroom binders to keep things simple. I can have a weekly TA who's job is to come in and immediately pass them out. I just want to get rid of bottle neck traffic jams.
- Writing/Blogging I need to incorporate way more reading and writing. I don't know to make it work time-wise but I want each student to write a blog and comment on others' as well. I have Nonfiction Writing Prompts from the Write to Know Series for Algebra and Geometry to use as a starting place. How can I make it all work?
- Develop Class Writing/Blogging Rubric I definitely want to assess these blogs but I would like to use examples of their own writing to have students help me create a rubric based on what they think is important in their writing. So as a class we will model critiquing and feedback to develop a rubric so that students can then self-assess, peer-tutor, or just understand my assessment process better.
- Visual Procedure Rubrics Speaking of rubrics, I want to take pictures of important procedures that we do all the time in class. For example: paying attention in class. I would take 3 different pictures. When students were acting appropriately that would be a 1, when some are off task would be a 2, and chaos would be a 3. Then I can post pictures of the most important procedures and easily assess them: "Class you're at a 2 and I need you at a 1." Everyone knows what is expected.
- Practice Procedures/Transitions I plan to spend the beginning of class literally practicing procedures and timing students on transitions until we can quickly and efficiently move from place to place, task to task, without losing so much instructional time. This is where the visual rubrics will come into play. As we practice, I can photograph each stage and use as a reminder.
- Math/Art/Writing Projects I'd like to develop an art project involving math for every unit or every other unit as a motivator to get work done correctly and efficiently in class to make time to work on their project. Obviously it would be something I would grade and display, it would appeal to kinesthetic and visual learners, it would hopefully tie concepts together, and make class a little more enjoyable. If I can do it, I'd like to create a project per unit which may include art, writing, 'inventing', etc.
- Formal Team Roles I've been doing group work without really holding students accountable. It has helped in some ways because they are teaching each other but I know so much more could be done. I basically want to follow Riley Lark's structure because I love how clearly it is explained. As we practice procedures, we can easily model the roles described here.
- Formatives With Clickers I recently started using clickers and the students love it but it hasn't been super useful to me yet. I've been using them on bell ringers and exit slips as a way to hopefully guide my instruction. It is cool to watch but we waste time waiting for people to click and obviously some still guess. So next year, I want to have formative already developed on slides so students can easily click and I will know what to do with that information.
- Display Team Results Combining the previous two, I want to use the data from our formatives and summatives to compare teams within classes. I tried this by comparing two periods but then one period just called themselves the slower class. So someone suggested I compare teams with a class which makes sense, especially because students will rotate teams. My clicker software has awesome 3d graphs which would be easy to print and display. In color.
- Write Multiple Versions of Every Assessment In order to make sbg finally work for me, I HAVE to do this.
- Remediation/Scaffolded Worksheets I want to have these made so that if students do not make my cut off score (I'm thinking 80%) then I immediately have a worksheet for them to complete before retesting. I will have examples worked out plus answers to the problems they complete on their own so that they can self check. I hope to use Nasco's Algebra 1 and Geometry Worksheets for that.
- Index Card Flip Charts I'm totally stealing Julie's idea because some of my kids are so obsessed with taking notes. I need to do this because I give so much paper since I don't use textbooks. Plus, I'm requiring binders so it will be very easy to keep things organized. Also, in my notes/homework/investigations I can point students back to a particular concept that they need to remember. And what a great tool to study for final exams!
- Math Dictionary On that same note, my friend over at Ms. Mathemagician has her students make their own math dictionary on a key ring. I can't remember the specifics (hint, hint, *blog post* cough, cough) but I think she gives a weekly vocab quiz. Mix that with an idea from @graceachen, who lets students use a certain amount of cards on the quiz but less and less cards as time goes on until they are not using any cards at all.
- Embed Review at Appropriate Places I want do this right now because I love lists so much but I want to make a list of the units I need to teach broken down into prerequisite skills and new skills. From there, I can start each unit by reviewing the appropriate material and leading into the new material. Hopefully, I can eliminate wasting much of the first quarter reviewing and get into the real focus of Algebra I.
- Performance Events On the one hand, I want to love sbg because I love breaking things down into manageable pieces and simplifying and organizing. On the other hand, I love investigations that tie things together in a neat package. If I'm going to try sbg skill tests again, I want to somehow incorporate performance events which will tie concepts together and definitely hit that critical thinking gap where students need to be familiar with multi-step problems. Maybe skill quizzes could be short and frequent and then every so often (end of unit, every 3 weeks, etc?) we have a performance event accompanied by a write-up that would serve more as a 'test' than quiz.
I know someone will tell me to pick one or two things to focus on and build on those but I don't have time for all that. I have resources available that I might never have again. I'm going to do my best to get as much done as I can. I will crash and burn on my own at some point so please don't discourage me ahead of time.
Don't steal my fire; just let me burn!