Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Burden of Responsibility

So we finished Ch. 3 & all of the reassessments. This was our first full unit using the new grading techniques and I think it's really paying off for those students who are putting in the effort. Sadly, only 2 students from 2nd hour bothered with reassessments to demonstrate progress toward mastery on the standards, while half of 6th hour did. Everyone who came in for a reassessment did show some improvement, whether or not the actual letter grade changed any.

To review the new grading system in a nutshell:
-I prescribe specific learning targets for each chapter called "standards"
-We work through about 2 standards for every section of the textbook
-Homework quizzes are given after instruction and a chance to practice
-Content quizzes & tests are seen as a chance to demonstrate proficiency on standards that have already been covered
-Rankings are assigned based on proficiency to help students focus their efforts on the specific standards they've struggled with
-Reassessments are offered to let students demonstrate progress

It's simple: If you're not taking good notes, reviewing your notes at home, doing the practice sets (and making sure you're doing them correctly), and giving honest consideration to my feedback and what it means, you're not going to succeed in this class. I stand by my assertion that students who put in the effort never fail my classes because they never fail to learn something.

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I teach physics, astronomy, and geometry at a public high school on the border of Detroit, MI.