What will you do differently next year?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Caesar753, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    May 24, 2009

    I'm also giving my students the option of printing the PowerPoint notes instead of writing them. I know many people (including myself) learn better by writing down things, but I'm trying to give more options--I just hope this doesn't back fire and I get unfocused students who are day dreaming.

    And, I'm going to give the option of a retest--1 per quarter--the retest grade counts no matter what--no averaging, no taking the higher score.
     
  2. Historyteaching

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    May 25, 2009

    SoccerDad-

    I started putting my powerpoints on my website, the students found out and stopped taking notes. They never printed it out and would sit in class and either fall asleep, whisper to others, or write notes back and forth. It was a problem for me-so I took them off. I had them on so those that missed a day could get them-which they knew, but some didn't realize that the entire lecture was on the site. I would put it up after we were done with the slides, and the students would still 'wait'. I got the reply of "Oh, I'll just get it off your website when you put it up. I'll just sit here and listen." yeah right.

    Thought I'd just give you an fyi of my experience..hope yours goes better.
     
  3. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    May 25, 2009


    While I am in complete agreement with finding different angles for students to interact with the learning, I forsee a problem in that they won't interact with it at all.


    Can you offer alternatives to note taking such as do the not taking or do a story board of the notes instead.



    My thesis research was on the effectiveness of composition teaching strategies and one thing that became very clear was that simply copying text over was of little use. The student must put it into their own words or representations for it to be of value to the learning. I think you're on a good track, but you need some sort of assignment or choice of assignmets that will required them to think about it and put it into their own interpertations.


    On a side note, I think you have a GREAT concept for make up work. If a student isn't there for the notes, the make up work is pretty obvious.....go to the web site and summarize or story board.
     
  4. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    May 25, 2009

    Muttling - I would love to hear how you incorporate story boards into your instruction. More info, please :)

    Just off the top of my head, I think this would work GREAT for history classes.
     
  5. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    May 25, 2009

    I teach math and there's a lot of multi step equation solving. I teach them to do PEMDAS backwards when solving whick leads nicely to a story board. In short, I tell them to make a cartoon which we will call a story board.

    They put the letters PEMDAS vertically down the side of the cartoon block they're doing and circle what letter they're on. Then they use arrows, graphics, or words to describe what they're doing in the step. I don't do this a lot, but will do it from time to time or as a quiz grade.

    They litterally solve the problem like a cartoon in a news paper. This also takes a bit of teaching time and modeling to get them to understand what I'm looking for. I also give bonus points for originalility and detail. My visual learners LOVE it and go wild with hearts n smiley faces at the end of the problem.

    My math geeks write in depth instructions that I have used for my home bound students.

    Then my apathetics write just enough to get a grade or do nothing at all. (sigh)
     
  6. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    May 26, 2009

     
  7. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    May 26, 2009

    Thanks for telling me. A coworker said the same thing. Maybe I can do some type of "Participation Grade." Where if they don't take notes, or highlight the printed notes, they lose 5 pts. or something of that nature,
     
  8. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    May 26, 2009

    I also toy with reading assignments every year. For my freshman level courses we DO NOT have a textbook, so most of the readings are from history books, self created, or other texts. When I made these readings with my fellow teachers a few years ago (and we continue to do so) we typically make a questions sheet for each reading. However, this becomes very boring and doesn't not ask for higher level thinking. This year I started just doing the homework miniprojects like soccer dad does, when I did this alot of the kids didn't do the reading and just did the miniprojects.

    Next year I am getting rid of reading quizzes and having students complete a Proof of Reading for each assigned homework reading. In order to show that they read they will be given options to complete to show comprehension, a required option will be an online quiz for the reading to insure that they actually read it. The quiz they can take three times and I will record their best grade. The non-required option can be 1) a terms and questions sheet 2) an outline and terms 3) a miniproject (I wll have options from which they can choose) 4)analysis of APUSH themes.
     
  9. Soccer Dad

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    May 26, 2009

    I'm going to assign LESS "Discuss the significance the Revolutionary War," and more "Explain, in your own words, the difference between the phrase 'The American Revolution' and 'The War for Independence.' In your response, make sure to include evidence that supports your explanation, as well as an analysis as to why the two are different."

    I'm getting tired of homework that is easily copied so I'm going to assign fewer typical questions, but up the critical thinking/opinion questions.
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    May 26, 2009

    My quiz will be random for each student, I am using the quiz program our school is getting to adminster it. It will 30 questions (15 multiple choice, 15 true/false) worth 30 points of their homework grade. I will use the typical reading question multiple choice questions that I used in the past here. The final 70 points will be from their mini-project/terms and questions/outline.
     
  11. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    May 26, 2009

    I like the idea of students taking notes in their own words. However, in middle school, it would take the entire class period to get them to do this every day. I like the interactive notebook idea where they take the notes I write down, and then process it on their own later.
     
  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    May 29, 2009

    To replace note taking, I have started creating open ended questions based on the notes that the kids answer as we go. After a slide or section of slides, they answer the question(s), and then we discuss the answers. It breaks up the monotony of note taking, too.
     
  13. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    May 29, 2009


    You CALL IT AS IT IS and I LIKE it!:)
    Rebel1
    P.S. CHANGE OF mind...
    I :eek:missed the part about NOT GRADING EVERYTHING until I read Brendan's note. ON THAT, I think you should TELL THE STUDENTS THAT YOU DO NOT GRADE EVERYTHING!
    I still like the idea that you want them to turn everything IN BUT LET THEM KNOW THAT SOME STUFF WON'T BE GRADED. They are putting in a LOT OF TIME so you need to LET THEM KNOW THAT!

    R1
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    May 29, 2009

    You should tell students whether the assignment is graded or not, thats dishonest if you do not. Have a policy and stick to it. Either tell students you will randomly grade certain assignments, but don't have them turn something in without them knowing if it will be graded or not.
     
  15. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    May 29, 2009

    I use these as a right hand assignment in my notebooks, occasionally as a stand alone project - here is an excerpt from my website:

    Comic Strip: A comic strip is an illustrated summary.

    Read about the event or person in your notes.
    Highlight the 8 most important things that happened in the event or the person’s life.
    Turn your notebook sideways and title your storyboard on the margin line.
    Separate the remainder of the page into eight panels, like this:


    (image didn’t copy – draw a line through the middle, then a line to intersect, then a line halfway to the left and a line halfway to the right for 8 good panels)

    -At the top or bottom of each box, write your caption. Your caption must be at least one complete sentence and explain what is going on in your illustration.
    -Above or below the caption, draw your illustration. This should be appropriate, meaningful, and colored.
    -When you have finished, your comic strip should be a meaningful summary of the event or person’s life we have studied.



    Instructional note – As with all notebook assignments, you will need to model. I like to share a few that were done on an unrelated topic before we get started, but that is the benefit of having used this strategy before. When I didn’t have samples, we sometimes did one together. A simple and worthwhile trial is to illustrate the pledge of allegiance in eight panels. Once the students understand that they are simply illustrating their captions, it goes pretty smoothly from there.

    Other ideas for comic strips:

    summarize a battle from the Punic Wars
    summarize the life of Julius Caesar
    summarize the contest between Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci
    summarize the spread of the Black Death
    summarize the steps to knighthood
    summarize a day in the life of a serf
    The list could go on and on. Actually, the serf option is something that my students just completed – I’ll need to take some pictures and update this post.
     
  16. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    May 29, 2009

    :wow::2up: THANK YOU - this is awesome :woot: I will definitely being using this next year. Do you mind if I share this with my differentitated instr. committee along with Muttling math one??
     
  17. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    May 30, 2009

    Please do!
     
  18. glen

    glen Companion

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    May 30, 2009

    I post mine, but only if the kids are taking notes. I have small classes, so it is easy for me to tell who is/isn't holding up their end. They all know that the notes will not get posted if anyone is slacking. Sometimes, too, I'll make a test open notebook without having told them before hand (they are aware of the test, just not that they will be able to use their notes). It drives the point home pretty quickly for some who don't think it's important to take good notes! One time, I put it in the test directions that notebooks were allowed. We were ten minutes into the test before anyone read the directions and discovered they could use their notebooks!

    For variety, I sometimes give the students fill-in-the blank notes. They can work in partners to find the missing phrases, then we go over/discuss the materiial. That way, they are interacting with the material, getting the needed notes for studying, and enjoying a little break from the regular lecture/note taking classes.
     

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