At the end of last school year, I wrote down what the last concept I taught and assessed was for each class period. Here are the results:
1 Hr Geometry Concept 28
3 Hr Geometry Concept 28
4 Hr Algebra I Concept 25
5 Hr Trig Concept 28
6 Hr Algebra II Concept 21
7 Hr Algebra I Concept 21
8 Hr Algebra II Concept 20
How is it that in an entire year I only teach 20-28 concepts? That's 5-7 concepts per quarter which translates to about one concept per week or week and a half. That's terrible. And pretty consistent across all content areas.
Maybe it's the kids? Let's look at the current data for the first quarter.
1 Hr Geometry Concept 7
2 Hr Trig Concept 9
3 Hr Algebra I Concept 6
4 Hr Geometry Concept 7
5 Hr Algebra II Concept 6
6 Hr Algebra II Concept 6
8 Hr Algebra III Concept 6
Multiply those by four quarters and that puts me in the range of 24-36.
So it's not the kids.
Let's look at my teaching. Ideally, I introduce a topic through INB pages/lecture and then a handout/activity that pertains to the notes. Ideally, that means 2-3 days per concept. Which means I should be a lot closer to 50-60 concepts per school year.
I have only done INBs since last year. Let's look at some data from pre-INB
Algebra II Concept 39
Geometry Concept 40
Algebra I Concept 44
Geometry Concept 45
Algebra II Concept 46
I am getting worse over time.
Let's look at some other curriculums. I was recently introduced to the site http://emathinstruction.com that is aligned to Common Core and PARCC standards. Algebra I has 100 lessons. 100! That doesn't even allow for 2 days per concept. Algebra II is 107.
Engage NY Algebra II has 120 lessons and Algebra I has 105.
I am not even teaching 1/4 of what students need to know. But how are students supposed to master concepts in one day?
I have really been downing myself about this for pretty much my whole teaching career. This is the first year I have been able to back it with data but...I am not preparing my students for their futures.
Here are some possible causes:
- I'm assessing too much. I quiz over every concept and a unit test.
- Interactive Notebooks are slowing me down.
- I'm taking up too much class time with bell ringers.
Now what are the possible solutions?