Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Daily Blogging and Planning for 2014-2015

July Blogging Challenge Day 15

Shoo this is hard!  I think its even harder in the summer when there is not the daily interactions and experiences in the classroom to write about.  However, I'm sure my school year excuse would be "there's just no time!"  Also, I've hit that point in the summer where I've let all of the good intentions of getting tons of work done slide by and am in denial that the summer break is half over.

Usually by this time I have a vision of what I want the upcoming year to look like.  I latch on to an idea that I want to try for the year and focus on how I'm going to implement it.  Last year was math workshop and the year before that was flipping and interactive notebooks.  I feel like this year I am going to take the things I've learned from all of these and incorporate everything that worked for me. I guess right now I should be working on that instead of blogging about the standards for 5th grade which wasn't doing much for me.  I'm going to use this blog post to help organize my thoughts and get started.

Flipping/Math Workshop
I plan on recording videos of the concepts for students to use as review and for stations and not for the main delivery of lessons.  Although I may have higher level students start here while I work with small groups. As far as math workshop goes, I am reading Guided Math and it looks a little different than the way Minds on Math workshops worked.  I'm trying to figure out how to use them together.  I know that stations, and teaching small groups is going to be a big part of what I do.

Interactive Notebooks
I feel like I need to get my notebooks started at least for the first unit.  Before I start planning that though I need to work on my assessment plan in order to to determine my units.

 My school has 4 scheduled benchmark testing days per year and I'm thinking of making these my only summative assessments.  So no "chapter tests"  I know I want to do a ton of formative assessing and I need to build my students confidence in their testing abilities.  I've found that my students are terrible test takers.  This also ties in to grading.  I am totally sold on SBG, but I'd have to work it into regular grades/report cards.  I am really clueless as to how to set up my gradebook this year.  Even looking at our grade scale is giving me agita:
97 A+ Superior
93 A Excellent
90 A- good
87 B+ good
83 B good
80 B- high fair
77 C+ Fair
73 C average
70 C- below average
Everything below 70 is unacceptable, even though there are 4 more cut off scores, D+, D, D- and F.

One of the nice things about my school is I feel like I have a little more freedom as to how I use my gradebook, but I want to set it up to be encouraging to students.  The only thing about the grade scale as it is written above that I like is that a 70 C- is below average.  I have a lot of students that think once they have any type of "C" they are good.

I think this is enough to get me started!  Backward design here I come, off to write those benchmarks!

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