And so it begins again….soon

It has been nearly a month since I left the Klingenstein Summer Institute, and school (meetings) start in one precisely one month. This month, I have been doing a lot of driving and I find car trips do give me time to think (especially when you are commuting across rural New Hampshire and there is no radio….the scan button just keeps on going through all the numbers, seriously).  I have been thinking about teaching and what I want to accomplish next year….and I am overwhelmed. I want to institute authentic assessment practices through Standards Based Assessment. I am thankful to everyone on the blogosphere who I has published their work and I hope to do the same here on this blog. These questions are still in my mind:

1. How do I introduce this paradigm shift to students? I want to generate student buy-in, but not ever hear “well we can turn stuff in again and there aren’t grades) because this seems to have the opposite effect I want. I do not want to scare them away with a 20 page handout on all the standards of the course, or for that matter, even a two page handout. They have to survive in a grade driven world outside of my classroom, I know I will introduce this gradually…but, by next week’s post, I hope to have a plan for HOW exactly.

2. Can I keep track of all of this? Our new learning management system, Canvas has a “mastery” grade book. I have been painfully putting each of the standards in and changing the language to (Proficient, Partially Proficient and Not Proficient….I also worry these words are too fixed mindset but that is a whole ‘nother can of worms). It will show students what they are proficient in (green), what they are working on (yellow) and what they haven’t mastered (red). I then also have to put “assignments” into the gradebook portion for them. Cross your fingers…if Canvas crashes mid grading through the year at all (as my last lms did, we won’t name names ahem-oodle), the Google drive chart I had created and planned to use for each student will have been the better choice after alll… more on this next week.

3. Should I teach Handwriting?  I am interested in having students keep a journal of all of their work. This may seem like a silly question, but at first I thought it should be  in a google drive folder, but this article and anecdotal evidence has me reconsidering. I know my AP students need practice handwriting things but should I have them keep a physical journal? Should I have all of my classes keep a journal?

Have a great week!

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