Monthly Archives: December 2014

[SBG] Exam Time

Like in previous years, I’m going to allow students to select what is on their exam. This year I’m doing things a little differently in that I’m allowing them to select their entire exam. They may choose between 3 and 4 standards from throughout the year to take. If students need more to pass, they may speak with me, but I require them to get a parent signature ensuring (a) that I’m covered & the parents know they’re not in a good position to pass and, more importantly, (b) that the student is studying a lot each night and doing their best to ensure that they pass this exam.

I use Google Forms for students to sign up for exams and, for the first time, I thought to look at the summary of the responses. Pretty cool stuff here.

Standards to Retake

If you notice, the distribution of what students selected for their 3 (or 4) standards was really evenly distributed, which I think is cool!  It means that students need/want to improve a huge variety of standards, and that everyone didn’t bomb the same one or two quizzes. It also means my job is harder, both for review and creating the exams, but still worth it.

In the graph, we see more recent (within the last month) essential (required to pass) standards are more common, I think, due to students not having as much time to improve those standards. [1] We also see more 2.1 and 2.3 which are two essential standards that I re-assessed the entire class on later in the year. In general, students probably chose later standards because they feel more comfortable re-visiting those, although the standards early in the year were not totally ignored.

I’m struggling with how to do a final in my other two classes (Physics and Precalculus) because of my new format for standards (some are essential and students MUST pass these in order to pass the class). Dilemma: if I give students even one essential standard on the final and a student doesn’t pass it, then they’ve failed the class. This harsh system works during the year because students can retake standards, but as a final format? I’m not a fan.

How do you do your exams if you’re into SBG? Does it replace all of your grades in your grade-book? It is, *gasp*, averaged?!? Or do you have another cool system? Please help!

[1] Or it could be that there wasn’t a progress report sent home since then, so parents didn’t get on students whose only motivation comes from their parents. *Sigh*


Filed under Teaching

Parametric Stop-Motion Videos: Year 3

Each year that you repeat a good project, I find it just keeps getting better. By “good project”, I mean one that is open-ended enough for the students to be creative in their own way and yet concrete enough to bring it back to some good math.

Here’s a link to the final product of some of the top projects from this year (and previous years), so you can see how we connect it to math, and below are some of the fun videos they made. Enjoy!


Filed under Teaching