Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rewriting the pacing guides

I work at a place where the school waited till the very last minute to change over to the new state version of the common core standards.  At the end of last year, I was told to create pacing guides for 5 different classes.  I did the best I could but I new I wasn't doing it correctly. 
Flash forward to a time after the new standardized tests and my students asking why I hadn't taught this or that.  I told them that until that point, I had no idea what the state was looking for.  Thus I have started tearing apart the new standards, looking at the textbook to see where the standards match up, figure out exactly what standard goes with which class.  Deciding if I need to begin one topic in say Algebra I and then cover it in more depth say in Algebra II.
I do know I am going to have to introduce trigonometric ratios in Geometry since the state included them in the test but I only have to cover the basics.  I can have my college prep math class do more with trig itself.
In the meantime, I am also looking at creating a situation in the classroom so its more like a video game where students will earn points through assignments, activities, projects. The number of points they acquire, will determine their final grade.  As I've been reading up on turning the classroom into a multiplayer game, I like the idea of requiring students to complete assignments correctly before they can turn it in.  This raises the bar and if I provide answers while they do all the work, then they might build persistence.
In addition, I am figuring out how to administer more assignments via the internet or an app so that I have less paper floating around my room.  I do know that it doesn't matter which way assignments are turned in, I'll always be accused of loosing someone's even though it is still in their folder.  If we go electronic, I'll need to set up a way to notify the students so they have a receipt  acknowledging that it was turned in.