Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Here's my new mantra:

"Every great lesson begins with a great question...

...that the students generated."

If the kids come up with the questions, then they care more about figuring them out.  The art is steering them so that they're dealing with the desired concepts, and the hard part is giving up control of the lesson.

For example:

(I stole this video from the internets, of course!)

The Great Tricycle Race

I used this one this year.  My prompt: "What can you do with this?"  It took a few minutes, but some great questions came up:
  • "How fast are they going?"
  • "Where were they when the race started (assuming that they started at the same time)?"
  • "When did each start (assuming that they started in the same place)?"
  • "When/where are the unseen passes?"
Awesome questions - they took 35 minutes and took some data from the video, answered their own questions, and presented the answers to each other.  I was really pleased with the first trial for this new method.

In subsequent units, I'm going to tease the whole thing with a video, let the class develop the questions, and then come back to them right before the test and let them use their new knowledge to answer them.

For 2D kinematics, I'm thinking about this one:


Monday, September 27, 2010

The State of Affairs

Here's how I'm doing it so far:

SBG Info Given to Students

Open Questions

Some open questions that I have about how I'll implement SBG:
  • How many assessments per standard per week is too many? ...too few?
  • How many assessments per standard per unit (up to and including the test) would be appropriate?
  • Should I include a standard for timeliness of submission of work?
  • What about conjunctive grading?  Should I require no grades below 2 (out of 4) for an A for the term, so that students don't blow off standards?  
  • In general, is there a good way to assure that standards aren't over- or under-weighted in the final grade?
Let me know your thoughts!

Here we go!

I'm starting a place to post my reflections and experiences with Standards-Based Grading (SBG), and rehtorical (and non-rhetorical) questions about its implementation at Tatnall.  Comment early, comment often!