Before I dive into this, in the curriculum area I dumped a lesson I used in Pre-Cal this week on piece-wise functions and function behavior. Plus how I related fast food to math.

Alright, standards based grading is ahead full steam and a key to the system is that a vast majority of your feedback comes from those assessment. In my opinion, that means it's not necessary to grade much else, other than checking in to make sure they're keeping up a notebook, etc. And with all that assessment and feedback, what's the need for homework? My first year I assigned official homework to be done at home and a few things happened. First, the kids who know everything did it, the kids that know little don't. Kids get stuck on some problem or other and we go over it in class which expands to us going over half the homework in class. Then with all these papers, I can't grade them in detail, so it's a lot of generic "100" "80" or "75" based on a quick glance of their effort. How is that good feedback? How was the homework a worthwhile thing to give them?

Enter Tasks. All of my students are required to have a notebook. It's part of their grade. Rather than run off worksheets for in class work in addition to reviews prior to tests I combined the thought. The result is a Task. I hand out the task right after a test with the intention that it covers almost everything between that test and the next one. Some (key: some) class time is allotted for them to complete this Task. When we review for a test, I reference problems on the Task. Currently I have given Alg II and Pre-Cal their first Task. It's printed on a small sheet that can be taped/stapled/glued into the notebook. Officially I require about half of it to be done. If they want to work more, go ahead. Can't finish it in class? Guess you have to do it at home, but at no point is that required.

Here they both are to serve as examples. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the length of the Alg II ones just yet. Pre-Cal kids can just suck it up. All the problems are sourced from a textbook.


Problems with the system? Accountability. How thorough should a notebook check be? I am doing checks this week and most kids have done the required level of work. I do have some that appear to be testing what they can get away with and I let them off the hook this time. That's on me. So mental note for the end of the grading period is to scrutanize their effort a little more. The correctness is not important, as I want the Task to drive questions to help them with assessment. I feel like effort exerted on a Task will translate to lots of 4s.

AuthorJonathan Claydon