August 15, 2012

Start, Continue, Stop

A cool idea is going around (stolen from Teaching Statistics) to organize your thoughts for the year.  I just realized I never finished blogging about PCMI, sorry about that.  Week 3 was awesome too, you'll just have to trust me.


A required Binder System for all students (in the past it's been totally up to the students how they want to organize) influenced by Awesome PD and Interactive Notebooks.  Once I have fully fleshed out how they will look I promise to blog about it.  The whole department is using binders though so I'm trying not to get too attached to any particular ideas until we have discussed.

I read about people keeping such detailed notes on their students and having more than just a list of numbers to show parents or administrators.  I'm going to try to keep one google doc per student and really keep track of things like who attends dayback (our after school help), emails/meetings and grades for each category at the 5 week updates.

Having students ask questions, and keeping track of open questions.  I've done a lot of discovery in geometry, but by the end of class we have answered whatever question I wanted students to think about, and any other questions that came up fall by the wayside.  I'm considering using google moderator to keep track.  The plans I'm writing will definitely include a broad opening activity for each topic that I don't expect students to be able to complete until the end of the unit, so at the very least that will be an open question.


Migrating towards SBG.  Last year I did frequent quizzes, named by topic, that students graded themselves - it worked great!  This year I will number the topics and call them standards.  I will also break down test grades by standard and have them re-assess for each standard separately.  Thinking about a 4-3-2-0 scale with names that match my state test.  Will blog more about that after I discuss with the other teacher who I know is doing SBG with me.

Inviting kids to dayback based on different criteria each week (D or F on test/in class, missing assignments, absent etc.).  I just made a big dry erase board into a calendar (photo Monday for #M4M!)

Using GeoGebra and Google docs/forms/mail.  I'm going to try to reserve the computer lab or laptops on a regular basis.


Blindly following the order of the textbook!  I taught 4 sections of geometry for the past two years.  There were two levels from 2 different books and for each class I largely followed the textbook.  This summer I sat down and re-thought geometry.  We're following the order I think makes sense and is interesting.

Letting kids get away with not showing their work, especially on tests.  It's easy to get into the habit of trusting that kids were lazy, but by the end of the year I had some issues with cheating.  This year "show all work for full credit" really means it, and I'm having them sign an honor code.

What are you planning to Start, Continue and Stop this year?


  1. this is a great post. I am really curious about how the google moderator works. Let me know! I did tutoring tracking and it worked wonderfully. I will share it with you so you can see for yourself how the form worked. Super simple to set up and it helped me keep track of what students came in for.



    1. Thanks! I'm going to start with just using a shared doc, and if that gets too complicated figure out how to apply google moderator. Sometime my goals are too lofty in the summer and I really want this to be something I carry through with.

  2. Thanks for the inspiration. I just blogged on my start, continue, stop plans.

    1. That looks like a good list! Good luck accomplishing your goals.