Update on New Things I’m Doing this semester
Julie Harland

My original post is at: https://wordpress.miracosta.edu/reflectiononpractice/?p=36

I love how I get all the students up at the board doing problems every day. It’s working out great. I now label this Class assignment each time I do this (about twice per class) by number (instead of sorting by date) as it’s easier for them to keep in order to turn in later. Sometimes I have them do a lot of problems, and even though it’s one point, they do it. So if they are in class doing it, they get 1 point. After a few weeks, I collect a certain number of assignments (let’s say #1-16 class work assignments), and if they have them in order (even if they missed class), they earn 16 points. So everyone can earn 1 out of 2 points even if they were absent, and 2 out of 2 if they were there doing it that day. I love being able to walk around and help out, and it’s easy to see from across the room too. They have to keep each problem on the board until I make sure it is correct. It gives me time to get around to everyone without hunching over someone’s desk and walking down crowded aisles, and it gets them up and active and talking, and doing work. They also have to write and do all the problems on their own paper. I find this kind of group work more energizing and active than what I’ve done in the past. Happy!

New things I’m doing Spring 2015
Julie Harland

After teaching for over 30 years, you’d think I’d have it down by now, but I still change things up every semester. This semester, I am trying to give students a “group” assignment at the beginning and end of every class, and this usually entails them coming up to the board in a group to do some problems. I have them write everyone’s first name and first letter of last name on the board. They also have to do the work on their own paper, which they must keep organized by date and whether it was done at the beg or end of class. So it might be labeled 2/2/15Beg. This gets them to class on time, up and working immediately, helps students to learn names of other students, etc. I wander around to make comments, help, etc. Then I give everyone credit if their name is on the board, or I might collect the sheets occasionally, or one student’s sheet with names of group members on it. It’s like a participation grade and I don’t have a bunch of quizzes to collect, grade, and return anymore, which is what I’ve always done in the past. They must be there at beg and end of class, and I just put a √. It’s worth a small percentage of their grade. At times throughout the semester (or maybe only at end of semester or on test days), I’ll have them put the pages in order and give them more points for keeping them. Anyone who missed an assignment can get that credit at that time so it encourages them to find out what they missed and do it. Sometimes, I might give them credit for still being in class at the end. They never know. Also if they keep all the papers, it’s a good study guide of important problems. At the end of class, this gives me time to put away all the electronic and other stuff I have out during class (doc cam, books, paper, pens, candy, etc. ) while they start their problem so I can be ready to get myself and all my stuff out of class before the next class comes in. I was used to having no class come in after my class ended, but that’s different this semester, so I don’t have the luxury of hanging out in the room for an extra 30-60 minutes anymore. Continue reading