Assessment Reflection & End of Quarter Reflection

I had planned to blog about my End of Quarter Student Reflection, since they just completed them and I have been reading through them. Then yesterday I jumped in a Twitter conversation between David (@delta_dc) and Julie (@jreulbach) that started with David’s question “Is it okay if a student is surprised by his or her grade on an assessment?”. There were a lot of ideas shared and when I jumped in I mentioned my during assessment reflection that I have used in the past.  So now this post will cover both reflections. 🙂

Assessment Reflection
I have used this in the past (not yet this year) to help students slow down a bit during assessments and to help identify where they went wrong and why.  I’ve had it for years and created it with teachers at my school, but don’t know if it originally came from somewhere online (if it’s similar to something of yours, please let me know so I can properly cite!).

I’ve tried to upload the Word Doc file instead of the PDF to Scribd for you. However, it then formats funny and doesn’t use my fun/cute fonts.  🙂 I am sure you can figure it out.

End of Quarter Reflection
I had the students respond to a survey on Quarter 1, which included questions about my teaching, our activities, the ISN, SBG, etc.  I have compiled those results for an in class discussion on Tuesday so we can make changes, clarify misconceptions and move forward in our planning for Quarter 2.  I want my students to feel a part of the decisions I made and the things we do in the classroom.

However, the reflection I am talking about here wasn’t that one, instead I created a reflection for students to reflect on themselves as a student for Quarter 1.  I asked them to reflect on their mastery of skills, their participation as a group member and then write their own comment about themselves as a student for first quarter; similar to what a teacher might write about them.  This was a GREAT reflection to share during parent teacher conferences this week and students were honest, open and striving to improve in their performance during second quarter.

Overall, we did a lot of reflection at the end of the quarter. Students even reflected on the ISN AND I had parents reflect on the ISN; that was awesome to read, the good and the bad about the ISN. 🙂 I like taking the time for students to reflect AND taking the time on my end to read and respond to all of it.  It helps me become a better teacher, to reach the students I have THIS YEAR and it helps them learn that reflection is important, especially when you take something from it and work to improve or change.

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Dance, Dance, Transversal

FINALLY, my post about Dance, Dance, Transversal with my Geometry classes.  I tweeted about this and promised I would blog about it, but told myself I wouldn’t until I got through the other draft blog posts I had started and not finished.  Therefore I have published 3 posts tonight and this is my 4th! Please ignore the fact that I should be grading…my quarter ends Friday.

Important Note: This is not my original idea…I got it from a teacher in my district, but modified it to fit my needs. I renamed it Dance, Dance, Transversal from his Dance, Dance, Geometry simply because we were dancing around the transversal.

How to play:
1. Purchase masking tape or painters tape for the floor.
2. Locate a large area to play that also has a computer and projector. Or move the desks in your classroom.
3. Tape two parallel lines & a transversal on the floor, one for each student. OR since I have 38, I did 19 and paired the students up. Here is a picture I took before I finished putting all of the tape on the ground in our house area.

ddt

4. Create a powerpoint that moves similar to Dance, Dance, Revolution with the words/locations flying up the screen.  Since this was not my idea, I do not want to share the powerpoint I received from my district teacher friend, but I will share a screen shot to give you an idea. You can do this by using powerpoint & creating a slide with the angles you want them to dance, like corresponding, alt. interior, alt. exterior, vertical. Then type the words of those angles at the top and copy and paste them at the bottom and then animate the words at the bottom in the following manner…. animations-lines-up-as one object. The more words you add at the bottom, the more will fly up the screen that the students have to dance to. Then you need to set the time; you can do different rounds by speeding up the flying of the words through…start after previous-duration. Change the duration to speed it up.  Add music to play during the slide. *

ddtslide
5. Send a text via Remind101 to your students the night before telling them to bring their dancing shoes for Dance, Dance, Transversal.
6. Play! We played in pairs so the student watching could help correct the student dancing.  This became very loud.  We also had a boy vs. girl dance off in each class where the boys and girls each chose their tribute dancer and then the boys judged the girl and the girls judged the boy. 
7. This does not take all period, maybe 20-30 minutes. We went back into the classroom and they had time to start working on their review for the test the next day. 

I did this as a review before a test, but also could see how it would have been a good activity to do right after learning about all of the angles around a transversal.  The students had a blast…it was LOUD, so warn the classes around you. The students had a blast, they were SOOOO bad at getting the angles right. It takes a lot of coordination especially when we got into the faster and longer levels. I would definitely do this again!

*I did not make the powerpoint I used, so my directions in step 4 are as detailed as I could get.  I was trying to figure it out the best I could for you, so you could make it for yourself!

How could this be modified for later concepts in Geometry? They definitely liked the dancing idea, I would love to find a way to harness that!

ICTM Presentation 2013

I attended and presented at the Annual Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Peoria, IL today.  My workshop was on Building and Maintaining Effective Cooperative Groups.  I got a test run this summer at TMC13, but this was a lot longer (90 minutes) and participants needed tickets to attend.  I found out a while back that it was sold out, which made me excited and nervous at the same time.  That means that there are teachers out there that really want to learn about Cooperative Groups and I wanted to make sure that I did it justice.

I had a SMALL room with tiny long tables; we were packed in there! I tried making it a little better for teachers to sit in groups of four, but it didn’t work quite the way I wanted.  However, I had a great group of teachers in my session and we made it work! Everything went pretty much as planned, but I ran out of time at the end to reflect with them more and have them share more ideas because it was going so well and we were sharing.  I need to cut something out somewhere when I present again in February (& maybe in WI in April).

Thank you to all who attended! A lot of great ideas were shared that I plan to implement in my classroom.

Anyways, here is my presentation! And a link to the follow up document I sent the attendees (I collected their email addresses as part of their name tags). https://www.dropbox.com/s/dwsvqau5r3lk2mb/ICTM%20Follow%20up%202013.pdf

#MSSunFun: Teaching Students How to Study for Assessments

#msSunFunYeah! It’s #MSSunFun and I am actually participating! 🙂 It’s been a while since I’ve joined in the weekly blogging, but I wanted to share what I do with my students to teach them how to study AND I am procrastinating doing a few others things right now, so it fits perfectly! And it ties to my earlier post on Failure, read that here.

A while back there was a conversation on Twitter about stamps we want so we  could use them on student work, obviously they were tongue in cheek, but I still had fun creating the graphics for all of them.  This one below was one of the main ones we discussed.  It is SO obvious to us teachers when students study and when they don’t. Our frustration with this comes because we are always looking for our  students to succeed and we also know all of the work we have done in class to practice and help solidify their understanding.  Since I use SBG, reassessments are a real part of my classroom and grading, I dislike grading retakes when they clearly didn’t prepare.  This is why I have added some additional requirements this year in order for them to reassess.Didn't Study

Due to using SBG, I have a lot of small skill quizzes rather than long tests, however I start the beginning of the year teaching my students that the word “quiz” does not mean they don’t have to study because it will be easier.  The math department has used the following handout to help students with studying for math tests.  It provides a list of helpful study strategies.

Additionally, I share the App/website StudyBlue with my students. (www.studyblue.com) It is a tech way to create flashcards, study guides, etc.  Students can even share with their school and classmates.  It remembers which ones you get correct and incorrect and will continue to build study from there.  It’s pretty cool and my students LOVE it.  Check it out!

I have created two documents that I have used since 2010-ish, I have used each at different times and for different reasons.

This document below is what I hand to my students in preparation for their end of quarter final. While we take skill quizzes throughout the quarter, I also want to focus on retention and they take a quarter final that covers all of the skills from that quarter.  They take out their skill folder and skill checklist and use that to help fill out the top part.  They also use their ISN and/or textbook to complete the middle part and they can use old examples from their ISN in the third part.  I do reference a textbook, while they don’t get one to use during the year, they can access it online as necessary. I reference a lot of the online practice quizzes and tests as good study tools because they check automatically while the students take them.

I have used this study plan document a lot with my US History classes, but my math students like it as well.  I make it available on my class website and they can use it as necessary.  At the start of the year we do a study skills unit in Advisory that I put together and this document is part of that unit, which means that all students are familiar with it.

I remember coming across Julie’s Study Guide Kit for Math Tests at the start of this year, http://ispeakmath.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/study-guide-kit-for-math-tests/.  I made a note to try and incorporate that into my ISN’s this year because I liked that there would be a study guide for each Unit/Chapter within their ISN.  I felt that would be useful for the students when it came to studying for the quarter final.  Unfortunately I forgot about it and did not start it this year, but I will be doing something similar next year.  I could see the right side of the ISN page being the folded study guide and the left side of the page being a modified (shortened to fit) study plan….but these are just thoughts right now.  I really like Mary’s Evidence of Study worksheet that she shared for this week’s #MSSunFun, http://teacherleaders.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/preparing-for-assessments/.  I will probably try and work that into my ISN somehow as well.  I like the parent signature for my middle school students.  I was also thinking about adding a Time Spent section so students could note how long they spent studying each night.

I love the sharing of great ideas and I am happy to participate!! Have a great week!

#Made4Math: Sticky Ball Review Game

Image

I am so excited to have something for #Made4Math Monday and that I am actually posting it on the right day.

Sticky Ball I play this game quite often during the year, I tend to use it in my better behaved classes, which usually helps the classes that aren’t the best improve their behavior enough to play. Regardless it is a fun game. The date the powerpoint was created was in 2006, so I have been using it for a while. Being honest, I know I created a few of the slides, but I am not sure if it was originally found online.

Rules:
This game involves brain, skills and luck. By answering questions correctly, students get the opportunity to throw a sticky ball at a target and earn points for their team.

Materials:
game board slides, Individual whiteboards for each student, markers & erasers and STICKY BALLS! These came in a pack, I believe from a party store, but it’s been so long I can’t remember.
**You do need to use a regular whiteboard to project the game board on, not a smartboard…the balls won’t stick. I usually use a projector connected to a laptop to display the targets on the side board. And I use my smartboard to display the questions to solve.

Directions:
1: Compile a list of questions. Can use as a review game or practice

2: Divide the class into two teams, or you can use multiple groups of 4…really whatever works for your classroom. I use groups of 4 and the quietest team will get the first question to answer, BUT all students and all teams should be solving each problem on their board because they can steal points if the question is missed. I continue choosing the quietest team for each question, but to keep in mind which groups have been called on.

3: Put one of the problems on the board to solve. ALL students in the room should be solving on their whiteboard because they don’t know which student I will call on from their group to answer.
If they answer correctly, they get a turn to throw the sticky ball at the target and earn points for their team.
If the ball ticks to the target, assign the corresponding points. If the ball misses or doesn’t stick, no points are awarded.

I tend to change the target AFTER they have solved a question and answered it. I have found if they see the target ahead of time and think it’s too hard, they won’t work to solve the problem.

Notes
Check first what is happening on the other side of your whiteboard! Depending on your set up, this game can create an annoying thumping sound in another classroom. (Unfortunately I know this from experience, it sounds even louder when the class next door is taking a test)

This game is a lot of fun and has the tendency to become loud and boisterous. I do remove points from the louder teams as necessary.

Variations:
If you are unable to find a sticky ball, use another toy that will stick to your white board. If noise is an issue, use a pom-pom or other soft object to throw.
Consider adding “no-go” areas where a poor/ill-considered toss can result in a loss of points (e.g. hitting another student or anything other than the whiteboard).