The truth is, I have been wondering the same thing for a few months now.
And I’m afraid that this time it’s for good.
Now, you’ve heard the stories of Chug the Pug’s tendencies to hike to Mom and Pops’ to visit his girlfriend, or to the nearest oil rig to see what the guys have cooking in terms of food and a warm cushy spot in the campers for him to lay and receive an unlimited amount of belly rubs from nice guys who think he’s been orphaned.
The pug, with his one eye and all, was really good at convincing those who didn’t know better that he was pathetic. But he wasn’t. He was self-sufficient. A big dog in…
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New school year with 90 new 5th grade faces, 80 familiar 6th graders and 20 “grown-up” 7th graders! My job this past week was to reach out to each of these students and try to let them know they are important to me.
Maddie was a student who “got it done” in my 8th grade math class.
Clearly she would ace the final test, so why give it to her? Instead I proposed a project analyzing data about global clean-water access and life expectancies. Her subsequent presentation blew me and the entire class away. Instead of a paper, she brought posters—instead of duty, she brought passion.
“Mr. Denton,” my 8th grade students declared, “We can’t just live with this, we want to do something. We want to bring clean water to these places in Africa!”
Thankfully, I was lucid enough to recognize this accidental opportunity and began to formulate a plan for my next algebra unit to center around a water fundraiser.
As I looked ahead to the next unit I found a math problem…
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Food for thought on SBG
Fair Warning: This post took a month to write. It’s long. It’s involved. It’s also a meditation on my entire year trying to implement a Standards-Based Grading (SBG) system and what that even means. But first, an introduction.
Why It’s Important to Think About Assessment & SBG: My classroom is a game that my students play. I set the rules by how I allow them to succeed or fail in my class. If I’ve done it right, then the rules I set should motivate genuine learning and reflect that knowledge in the form of a ‘grade’. In my experiences as an observer in ‘good’ classrooms and ‘bad’ classrooms, the most reliable way to measure this is through independent performance on consistent evaluative assessments balanced with frequent feedback in the form of formative assessments. So, I need my tests and quizzes to be the focus of the ‘game’ that is my…
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