So my mind and blog have been taken over and corrupted by those sbg nazis!
I'd like to take a minute just sit right there, I'll tell you how I have other ideas. lol
Somehow I would like to work in sustained silent reading (Yes, I am a math teacher with a classroom library!).
Also game days...students learn more than we realize just while playing. I have tons of games too. (Yes, I spend all my money at yard sales on games and books. And clothes. All classroom necessities.) Whether this be review games, board games, card games, vocabulary games, math games, or non-math games (*gasp* Yes, they do exist!).
I also want to put a huge emphasis on vocabulary as well as reading, analyzing, and creating a variety of graphs.
I'm transitioning to learning logs/exit slips in place of homework.
My warm ups are going to now be timed and mostly multiple choice thanks to Illinois' love of the ACT and my new Turning Point clickers! The clickers will help everyone answer anonymously and get immediate feedback as well as forcing compliance by giving each question a time limit. But I'm thinking the last question will be something open-ended so that everyone can contribute something. Maybe I will only have them write the last one as part of their learning log?
I have not actually implemented any of these ideas. Where do I start? How do I even get them down on paper?
I think I need to start by creating templates (which I happen to love!). Should I have students use their own paper or should I create templates for vocab and learning logs? I think that is an awful lot of paper to print and copy. I should have them use notebooks. But I love to make things pretty. I'm torn!
Should I grade warm ups, learning logs/exit slips? I think I need to separate learning logs and exit slips. I think I want exit slips to be a problem or two worked out. And possibly I will give them the answer so that they have to show me their work in order to 'exit'. Then the learning logs should be a more reflective, in-depth writing activity where students are processing information. Hopefully. I think I will record warm ups and exit slips in the gradebook. The category won't be weighted or worth anything but will be out of 5 for the week, 1 for each day. That way parents can look and see 2/5 for warm ups that week and know that their child chose not to do 3 of the assignments (a CYA skill). Same if students are absent, since the category is not worth anything, it won't count against them. I'm thinking that I care most about the learning logs and should spend the most time assessing them. This year, I also want to focus on timely, accurate feedback rather than just a number. I'm thinking this is what I will do on the learning logs as well as skills assessments. But if every student is journaling every day, how will I ever assess? If I assess weekly then it becomes very timely or else completion based. Ugh. I'm thinking I will use a variety of assessments. Trade and grade. Call random students to read theirs. Post to a classroom blog? (Eek.) Randomly read? Randomly grade? I don't know. English people help me out here!
Vocabulary. I plan on using the Frayer model for learning vocabulary. I just don't know if I should print out separate template sheets or instruct students on how to fold their paper and draw their own. But once they tear paper out and fold, who knows where it will end up? Should I require binders? Folders? Should I use my hanging folders so they can keep everything in my room? Should I do binder checks? Someone mentioned the idea of the first day of a new unit being vocabulary. But I like the idea of doing a little each day. Should this be after the warm up? Part of the warm up? Before/after exit slip? Part of the learning log? Should students define words before or after we define and use in class? Each unit/lesson won't have the same amount of words so how can I build this into my routine when it is not consistent?
Don't forget about SSR and Game Day! Should I do both once a week? Friday could be assessment day and then play games? Maybe SSR could be the first 15 minutes on a Wednesday for hump day, to break up routine. I have a routine on Mondays of asking every student about their weekend which I think start the week off well. Should every day be something different? (I don't know why but I love that idea!)
Monday- Weekend Recap (class discussion)
Tuesday- Funny Video or Song? Graph? (open to suggestions here)
Wednesday- SSR (first 15 minutes? Last 15 minutes?)
Thursday- Comic Relief (funny cartoons/comics)
Friday- Assessment/Game Day (also coincides with a lot of basketball games. Yay.)
For those of you haven't noticed, I love lists, routines, and schedules.
And hopefully these will keep my kids out of the principal's office.
And keep me out too. =)