Posts Tagged With: #DitchThatTxtbk

Choose Your Own Adventure Project with Google Forms

You know when you find a project and you think, “This could be a fun project that my students could benefit from”, and then you get the results from your students and it was a flop?  Well this isn’t that type of project.  I was blown away by some of the stories my students created.  I don’t have all of them listed below because they have to correct their mistakes before I will publish them, but they can keep correcting until it’s ready for the public eye.  Check back, I’ll add more as they become available.

Mage Example

I can’t take all the credit for this project. The original idea came from @jmattmiller in his book Ditch That Textbook.  I did make the scoring guide and the planning sheet to help students create this. Matt also has a video on his site that would be a good resource also.

Now Matt teaches Spanish and I teach Math, but the basic idea of Choose Your Own Adventure is present and could be adapted for any content area.  My students had to have 5 equations, a good story line, images, & explanations of misconceptions if a player choose the wrong answer. We started by writing the story on the planning pages.  It’s a lot easer to type this into Google Forms if you already have your story and equations in place on the planning page. I also included instructions about how to enter the information into forms on the back of the planning pages.

My scoring guide is based on our SBL. Our non-math standards include Quality of Work, Completeness of Work and Timeliness, basic skills an employer would want. We also assess based on our Math standards from our curriculum.  You may take my scoring guide and adjust it to fit your curriculum.

I have the Docs set up to make a copy when you click on them.

Planning Page

Scoring Guide

Now for some awesomeness.  (Disclaimer – some didn’t follow copyright and snagged images from Google.  We did talk about this but some chose the easier path)

Journey to Be A Mage (all images drawn by student)

Treasure Map (in the Spirit of TLAP – @burgessdave would love this one)

Cookie Recipe

Lost on an Island

The Safari

The Theory of Rock

Categories: Google Forms, PBL, Solving Equations | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Teach them to Learn

My focus for this school year will not be on testing, or homework, or even data teams, it will be on LEARNING.

Teach a student to

I’ve been reading Ditch that Textbook and Teach Like a Pirate this summer, as well as learning from my PLN on Twitter, Voxer and EdCamps.  All of these have reinforced the decision I made at the end of school last year to DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY! I will continue with Standards Based Grading but I like the phrase Standards Based Learning better. I will also be providing videos like a flipped classroom would so I can focus on projects and individualized learning in the classroom.  I won’t be assigning homework every night, but I will provide outside practice for those who need it. I want students to learn in the way that best suits them.  I don’t know how this will work but I’m excited to give it a try.  The most important change will be directing the focus on learning and not on a grade.  I want to eliminate the question, “What can I do to raise my grade?”  I want them to ask, “What can I do to learn?”  I can’t wait to have a classroom with students in control of their learning and a desire to be there.  I hope my inner Pirate comes out!

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Summer Learning

I love learning from and with other educators.  It’s almost a condition that I need to seek help for.  I was the student who loved college, loved my online learning opportunities for my master’s classes, love conferences, love good PD with our district… I love to learn and improve.  This summer, my learning opportunities have been greatly increased.  It started with the return of #SJSDEdWeek, WOW so much learning with my fellow colleagues.  I left motivated and inspired and grew my PLN from within my own district!  Next came ISTE.  I didn’t get to attend ISTE, but I did join the #notatiste15 google plus group and Voxer chat. Both Google+ communities and Voxer were new experiences for me.  I have a few books to consume this summer, one of them is Ditch That Textbook by @jmattmiller which has a Twitter chat and Voxer group at #DitchBook.  I, just tonight, joined the #HackLearning Voxer group.  @LauraGilchrist4 created a monster when she added me to the #notatiste15 group. I have become a Voxer junkie, but I love discussing ideas with people inside that medium.  It’s July, usually the month I put away my computer and all thoughts of school.  This summer I can’t shut my brain off thinking of all the ways I can make learning more relevant to students and help them become learners, not just doers.  I can’t wait to share with my students, colleagues, and you as I get to practice some of what I’m learning.

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Another Year Over

Reflection-

ride-the-roller-coaster-they-said

This school year has been a roller coaster.  I feel better about this year than others, but I don’t feel like it was my best year as an educator.

I welcomed two new people to my Algebra I team.  It’s difficult to keep teachers in Algebra I with soooo much pressure placed on us to do well with testing and pass students.  About 1/3 of our students take Algebra 1 as an 8th grader.  Their MAP scores are very high.  Our 9th graders taking Algebra I do not include those students, so our scores are never as good.  I wish I could make “the powers that be” understand that. My two new people were a GREAT addition and I loved

i started the year with interactive notebooking.  I loved the idea, encouraged by blogs like Math=Love and Rockstar Math Teacher.  Things didn’t go smoothly!  Students complained, parents complained, other staff complained (well, it is a lot of copies)… By Christmas I was frustrated.  I still liked the idea of notebooking, so I started changing everything to note sheets.  I took a page from the sketchnote movement and made all of my pages VERY graphic.  Students (and parents) seemed to like this better.  Who knew that gluing in math class was considered a waste of time to parents?

We have a higher number of students who do not seem to find success in Algebra.  Many of them have not been successful for many years. Our school re-introduced Core Support this year, a 40 minute time built into the day for extensive help in core content areas.  This was very successful, although small scale.

Failing students was a huge discussion for us this year.  Many factors played into this, some out of our control [attendance].  By 4th quarter, we had discussed many ideas to increase the motivation and learning for these students, flipped classrooms, standards based grading, no homework grades, you name it and we had discussed it as an option.

We decided to pilot standards based grading 4th quarter while reviewing for the EOC.  We wanted our standards to spiral and evidence of mastery to occur at the end of the quarter.   I LOVED IT!  For the first time in a long time I felt I had a good handle on what students knew.  Students were also more excited about their learning when they knew they would have to opportunity to fix mistakes by the next assessment.  They also liked charting their progress with the standards. I had fewer A’s than normal for the quarter, but I also had fewer F’s; letter grades aside, I KNOW I had a larger increase in knowledge.  I also feel like their grades more closely reflected their knowledge.

Planning for next year –

I will, according to a phone call last night, be welcoming another new member to my team (we just can’t keep Algebra I teachers!) We plan to use a modified flipped classroom design so we can spend more time in the classroom on engaging activities and remediation.  We DEFINITELY plan to use standards based grading for the entire year.  My summer reading includes Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess and Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller. I’m hoping for tons of inspiration so that when next year ends I can say, “this has been my best year so far.”

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