Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day in the South and Grade Recovery

Our second snow day in a row for a "dusting of snow" provides me with an excellent 4-day weekend.  That gives me time today to put together a plan with which I have been contemplating.

I happened upon a fabulous blog over the Christmas Break called dy/dan where he talks about math assessment.  While it would be a major task to throw out my traditional assessment method and replace it with his for the second semester, I want to run a pilot using Dan's system.  I think I have found my answer.

My school district mandates teachers provide grade recovery.  On the surface this seems like a great idea.  Someone was absent a lot due to sickness or perhaps they tried really hard to understand the subject matter, but their best efforts landed them a failing grade.  Now they come see me during Directed Studies, lunch, before school, or after school and focus on those topics they failed.  However, it also includes slackers that do as little as possible the entire six weeks and then are able to come by to get a passing grade.  I am hoping that I at least have some discretion as to who can participate and who cannot.

I will compile a list of the skills they lack (somewhat ambiguous, yet can be determined looking at their old quizzes and tests) and use this as a checklist for what to work on.  It will build self-confidence (as Dan suggests) when the student sees a mounting list of skills they can perform and a dwindling list of weak skills.  It is the same as this snowball effect

I can't wait!!

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