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Showing posts from October, 2016

What are Students Saying? - First Grading Period Reflections

As I've often said, I like giving students regular opportunities to reflect. I've had a goal for some time to gather student reflections at the end of each unit. That has not become a reality, yet, but there are few points of the school year in which I make sure I ask some reflection questions: the end of the first grading period, the end of the first semester, and the end of the year.

Believe it or not, it's the end of the first grading period.

I love Google Forms for student reflections. I can ask multiple choice questions and short answer questions and easily see responses and trends. I also save lots of paper. :)

I used a survey I used at the end of the first grading period last year that I called "The Goldilocks Survey." There were five multiple choice questions addressing such areas as how the class has been going, course difficulty, class structure, student-teacher interaction, and (self-perceived) student effort in which the answers were some variation of…

A Mathematical Gallery Walk

"Writing in math class" has long been a topic of discussion. Like many, many other topics of discussion it is an aspect of my teaching practice that is undergoing transformation.

It started with "write your answer in a complete sentence."

Mary bought 2 dozen apples.

THAT was writing in math class?!? Yep, pretty much.

My transformation probably began with Laying the Foundation training. I was introduced to what was expected of students' writing on Advanced Placement tests. And I began to expect more of my students' explanations. (For the record, they hated it.)

Then we began administering the ACT Aspire as our spring test; there's an entire "Justification/Explanation" section of the scoring. And our students are not scoring as well in that area as we would like.

I determined this year to focus on students' mathematical writing. In the past I would be thrilled if students could tell me ANYthing when asked to explain their work. Now I want to…