Monday, May 5, 2014

Trying to get away from teacher lead activities

Up to now, I've been giving warm-ups and standardized test questions to the students most mornings and then going over the problems.  Too many students would just wait and copy it all down rather than trying to work things out themselves. Last week, I changed to going as far as setting up the problem and letting them finish it.  Beginning this week, I am going to change to the "Best no" where I have students work out the problems on a small piece of paper and then go through the answers with a yes or no.  Finally, I'll choose the best no and put it up on the smartboard so students can see it. I'll have them tell me the good things about it and then have them tell me what was done wrong.  I got this off the teaching channel.
As for the standardized test questions, I am going to have them work in pairs to come up with answers using the iPads to write their answers on.  I"ll check and mark them down for how well they did it on a 1 to 5 scale.  This way I am hoping to eliminate the straight guessing and actually get them to do some of the work rather than waiting till I go over them.  I will go over but at the end of the period once I've given them a grade.  One of the new focuses of our state standards is to build persistence and I've not done that enough.
This summer I am going to try to build more activities for persistence and for formative assessment into my lesson plans.  So much to do and not enough time.