So, here’s some stuff I’m working on this summer:
1.) Re-working Algebra I units and learning targets to make them more coherent. After using SBG this year, I found that some units had way too many targets and some had too few. Also, some targets were really the same as others, and they needed to be combined; whereas some targets were too complex and needed to be split into two separate ones. I also need to split up my learning targets into the categories Fundamental (procedural), Core (conceptual), and Advanced (synthesis). I think I’ll find that after doing this, I am woefully lacking in the Advanced category. Must fix!
2.) Writing algorithm generated questions for practice and assessments. For any target that I can legitimately assess with a multiple choice or numerical response question, I want to have a bank of algorithm generated questions so that I don’t have to write new ones every time a student wants to re-assess. They just go to SocraticBrain, log in, then enter the quiz password to re-assess. I want to get these written and out of the way so I can spend more time writing task and project based (Advanced category) assessments.
3.) Getting to know SocraticBrain, the SBAR system I will be using for Algebra I and Physics next year. There are some new features and I’ll need to figure out how they work and how I’m going to implement them. For instance, it is now set up to automatically generate practice for students based on their scores on any recent work they’ve done. Awesome! But it means that I’ll have to be very careful when deciding what practice problems or tasks the system will spit out based on the areas the student is struggling in. When a student keeps missing a fundamental question, maybe they just need to see an example worked out and then practice some more. In this case, the system should spit out both resources (a video with a worked out example, and some practice problems). When a student fails on an Advanced task, more skills practice won’t necessarily help them. What they probably need is more specific feedback. I think in this case the system should spit out a self reflection form based on the task. Questions like “What parts of the task did you get stuck on?” and “What skills do you think are required for this task?” could go on there. Then when it comes time for me to enter the picture, they will already have thought about these things and my feedback will be more useful to them.
4.) Re-working physics units and learning targets to match the NGSS. This one I’ll be working on with the whole science dept at my school. We’ve got a full two weeks blocked off for this. It’s awesome that we’re doing it together; we will hopefully end up with a nice vertically aligned science curriculum. Once the physics learning targets are made, I can start to align the Algebra targets to them.
I plan to post my aligned Algebra I/Physics units and learning targets by the end of the summer for review by the mathtwitterblogosphere.