With only 4 days left until I report back my mind is SPINNING with all the things I had hoped to get done over summer and finished.
For the past two years my school's administration has been pushing differentiation, only their idea is very different from what I learned in grad school and what I imagine happening in my classroom. At one meeting we were told as math teachers to split our classrooms into halves and teach different lessons one at level and then one below level for the lower kids (I do not co-teach, and am usually the only adult in the room with 23-28 middleschoolers). I cannot wrap my head around positives that would come from this as the students would be very quick to recognize what level they where put into.
I have spent all summer searching the internet, reading blogs, reading professional articles, and have come up with ZERO on how to successfully implement this idea in my classroom.
Additionally, I have spent hours coming up with activities and formative assessment ideas to offer extension and anchor activities for those who get it and am hoping to then spend small group time with those who are struggling. I am taking @iisanumber what to do with early finishers and problem of the week post and tweaking them to work in my classroom.
I created these fun posters and plan to dedicate a whole bulletin board to this idea.
I am really lucky that at our admin building we have some great poster printers, so i used thoses to print these out very large. I think that if you take them to like a kinkos you can get them made too.
I have not come up with how I am going to grade the problem of the week, but I am hoping that if I start the year off eliminating the students expectation of a grade for all work I will be able to create a classroom where knowledge is the expectation not the bi-product and students (and hopefully their parents) will not need that 100% on each paper turned in to feel good about their work. If I can create this type of learning community then there will be no need to hand out grades for everything!!!
At the same time our county has placed very rigid demands on our grading, what can be graded, and there is an unspoken rule that no one should ever receive a grade under a 50 whether they attempt the assignment/activity or not. I personally have mixed feelings about the zero and struggle a lot with my personal belief to use it or not.
There have been mentions of SBG but no direction on how to do it or what would be acceptable. I am toying with the idea of handing out 1, 2, 3 or 4 for most things and only grading on a percentage scale sumative assessments. Making anything under a 2 a mandatory re-do. The only thing about this is I am not sure how to hold the students responsible for the re-do. How do you handle it? I wold love ANY and all suggestions!!!