Friday, August 4, 2017

Sunday Funday: #Goals

Goals, I have too many right now.  This Sunday Funday prompt comes at the perfect time for me to solidify them and hone in on just a few so that I can reach those goals.

My big aspirations for the year include tweaking my past standard based grading policies and well as blended/hybrid learning structure. I also want to begin to incorporate HyperDocs, visual random grouping, vertical non-permanent surfaces.  Finally, I'd like to include more projects and technology in my classroom.  And this is the narrowed down list!

First, I'll start with HyperDocs.  I came across this book The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps in my efforts to reorganize my blended/hybrid format and to include more meaningful technology.  The idea of HyperDoc is to create an interactive student-paced lesson.  One of the issues I've had in the past few years has been getting my students to engage at the independent station with fidelity.  You can read a bit about what I've tried in the past here if you like.  Scroll to the bottom of the post for 5 blogs that I wrote when I first started using the model.  I've tried several methods of trying to get students to engage with this station, but did not have much luck.  This year, I'm hoping that by using HyperDocs, I will find more success.

Here is the HyperDoc that I'll use on the first day of school for my students to get to know me and each other.

Once we get into the school year a bit, I'll use HyperDoc time as a way for me to accomplish small group instruction.  I'll try to design the HyperDocs so that they can be done independently while I pull groups.

My next goal is to tweak the variation of standards based grading that I use.  It's been a long time since I wrote about SBG, and I really need to do another separate post with updates.  I love SBG, but I feel like it creates a very segmented course.  Sometimes students end up seeing math a unrelated topics.  I like to include projects to combat this notion, but a project is difficult to measure in an SBG environment.  I also like to give a tiny grade for effort and participation, which is impossible with full SBG.

Here is the HyperDoc that I plan to use on the second day of school for introducing students to my version of SBG.  70% of my students grades will be standards based, 20% will be traditionally graded projects, blog, and other accuracy based assignments, and 5% will be based on participation and work completion.

As for Visual Random Groups (VRG) and Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces (VNPS), these are concepts that came up at TMC16.  I've never been a TMC, mainly due to the cost of travel, but I always follow along on Twitter and the wiki.  Because I was trying to wrap my mind around these ideas so close to the start of the school year, I was not ready to dive last fall, but now I am.  Laura Wheeler did a bang up job of summarizing these ideas in this post:  Visibly random groups & Vertical non-permanent surfaces.  If you want more formal reading, you can view these papers by Peter Liljedahl:



I made a pretty large financial investment in my classroom this year buying 6 whiteboards and tons of markers to get me started with VNPS.  I'm ready to build student success with these classroom routines.

Here are some screenshots that I borrowed from Laura's blog post.  But seriously, go read it!

Lastly, I'd also like to incorporate more meaningful projects (one per unit) and technology into my classroom.  I'm hoping to score some CPM sample texts at the PCTM conference.  I hear rave reviews and that there are many applications and projects with in their curriculum.  Hopefully that will help me fill in the gaps.  For the technology piece, I hope to have students collaborate via Google Docs at least once a week and I also want to start having students write blogs on occasion summarizing their work on projects and activities.  I'm planning to use EduBlogs as my platform.

So there you have.  My slimmed  down list of goals for the year.  It's probably still to ambitious, so I may need to adjust some of these as the year progresses.  Wish me luck!

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