Read Part One and Part Two

Now to the nitty gritty. What does a new Algebra II curriculum look like? How do you properly modify an SBG system to deal with less isolated content? I think I have some of those answers. 

Recall the goals: intermix all types of parent functions and constantly retread equation solving and graphing

Previously I had about 50 outlined standards. Each was named for the type of problems students would expect like "Absolute Value Inequalities," "Factoring," and "Circle/Ellipse Graphs." This mirrored textbook sections without referencing their arbitrary textbook section numbers. With the new theory of focusing on processes and not parent function silos, I reduced the number of standards and gave them sub-topics. I don't know exactly how I'll implement the scoring, but students will keep track of their progress within these sub-topics. In an assessment situation, the sub-topics might be clearly identified to the student, and in some cases they might be obscured and they're graded on the standard as a whole. For now, this is what I'm thinking: 

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I don't assign a number of days to any particular standard. I never like confining myself to 3 days for something. Sometimes I can do it in 2, or maybe the most recent assessment tells me we need 5 days. A document like this is a broad guide to what I want to accomplish in a school year. At the moment, I think I can get through Inverses Intermediate by December. Decreased state testing will probably allow me to get through this entire list without a problem. But in the worst case, it's ok if we don't do Trigonometry.

If you have more interest in how I plan, I wrote about it long ago. Not a lot has changed other than getting faster. 

This list looks a little robotic. The way I run class really won't change. Lots of activities, further attempts to come up with clever opening acts, and discrete problem sets at the end will still be there. The goal is to change the way I talk about Algebra II. 

Here's a rough draft of what an assessment might look like. 

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This is a really rough draft. I need to spend some more time playing with how I write these assessments to make sure I'm balancing them right. For instance, that might be too many problems. Some of those might belong under Intermediate instead. The name of the standard seems clunky. Three sub-sections might be too many.

The standard is layered with the A, B, and C sub-topics. The A.1 indicates this is the first time a student has been graded on sub-topic A. On the next assessment, this would be labeled A.2. It addresses a concern where students had trouble remembering whether a given test had the first version or second version of a topic. This will also help with assessment length. I like to keep these short and sweet, between 16-20 questions. All the sub-topics for a standard might not appear together. When it comes to intermediate, it could be divided A.2, B.2, C.1 to keep the length right.

This assessment format feels a little more complicated than what I've done before, but I don't think it will function much differently. I feel a lot of promise in the approach, ironing out the details needs a bit more work.



AuthorJonathan Claydon