IDK if anyone actually reads this, but If I were reading it, I'd be all like "why does he just repeat Twitter posts on his blog page"? I'm going to start trying to keep daily #teach180 posts on Twitter, and maybe do a little bit of a deeper reflection here every week. We shall see...
This year I've focused more than I ever have on intentionally building classroom norms at the beginning of the year. This is definitely the result of some training in Positive Discipline that our entire school went through during orientation. It's also something I usually just ignore and hope will figure itself out; of course, it never does and causes me endless frustration that the ss don't just automatically know how to be members of a productive group of learners! And that I haven't learned this lesson yet!
So, this week felt mostly positive. I had one really downer day, where I was under-prepared and using resources I wasn't familiar with. I helped arrange a switch to integrated math for the entire school this year, and I'm trying to encourage teachers (and model it by doing it myself) to follow textbooks more closely than I normally would, at least until we get the curriculum straightened out from the switch. It's tricky, and I'm really going to have to try to let what I know about my ss inform my instructional decisions this year.
Making a conscious effort to involve students in decision-making is interesting and challenging so far. We all came up "reminders" (norms is a term that's not really familiar yet here) with the understanding that they all needed to serve the overall purpose of the class:
We learn math by solving problems together.
I was going to make a few categories like respect and responsibility to try to tie all of the norms to something simple, but then I wondered if this sentence would be enough. Only time will tell...
I was most excited this week to let AP Stats students chime in on how I report their progress. We looked at the available information on how the exam is graded. I told them I would do my best to provide them with exam-like assessments, and grade them according to AP guidelines. They worked on how those grades would be translated into the grading system at our school, which is just 60-100. They came up with some interesting ideas that I'm ok with, and I put each section's plan up for a vote over the weekend. I'm also letting them decide whether or not they need grades as an incentive to finish practice work. They were, of course, not as impressed with the opportunity as the students in my head, but c'est la vie. Looking forward to the results.