Thursday, September 24, 2015

Baselines, Lesson Timing, & Electives

I wanted to be good and squeeze in a quick post tonight...

The new school year has been going well.  I finished grading my student's baseline assessments today.  I'm gonna look over the data formally on Monday with my AP, but the data is definitely interesting.  I created the baselines using old state test questions, and assessed my 6th graders on 6th grade standards, and my 7th graders assessed on 7th grade standards.  I predicted that my students would do OK (I teach at a city-wide G&T) and most of them did.  I even had one student get everything right, in other words, they would have already passed the state test for this year!  That's not the case with everyone, but this is definitely a new challenge for me.  From what I've observed these first few weeks of school, most of my students will do anything I ask them, in terms of work, but I need to always have extra work.  A challenge I've had is finding that balance between really challenging their thinking, while making sure everyone is mastering the material.

Lesson Timing & Resources:
Another challenge I've encountered is changing from a 55 minute period to a 42 minute period, as well as not having the same kind of technology as my old school.  We also haven't had a full week of school yet, so that has made getting into a rhythm not easy (my brain is still on semi-summer mode) but that will change next week.

Math Club & Teaching Visual Arts:
Something that I have gotten more excited about as this year has been unfolding is having a Math Club elective and teaching Visual Arts.  It's been fun because on Fridays we teach our electives, and starting up my Math Club again is always something I look forward to.  I love my group of mathletes!  Also, the more research (aka mostly Pinterest) I do, the more excited I get about teaching art.  I even took a free painting class and free drawing class at my local Michael's earlier this week and got some good ideas!  I am learning a lot and am feeling much more confident about teaching art!

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