We have chromebooks! Yay!!!!!
Now that I have chromebooks, I am ready to get back into a mastery based self-paced classroom. No, it is not truly self-paced because I am still working on a semester long time limit BUT it's as good as it is going to get...for now. A girl can dream!
I was originally using videos and guided notes from flippedmath.com to help students master the material. These guys, the Algebros, put in some solid work to create so many amazing resources for math teachers. I have a lot of students who love their videos and feel like they learn best by taking the guided notes from them. I have a few others who are not such big fans. I realized that while I was differentiating by pace, with access to the internet, there wasn't any reason I couldn't give them more resources to choose from in order to learn the material and differentiate by learning style.
My process looked like this:
-List the objectives for Algebra 1 in a Google Sheet (I LOVE SPREADSHEETS!)
-Link each objective to it's own padlet. If you have not started using padlet or something like it, today is the day to start. They can be private, public, or collaborative and they are fantastic for dumping all kinds of resources. I love using it to organize all the resources I find for teaching.
- Find resources for each padlet. I started by adding the matching Flipped Math link, IXL links, and Kuta worksheets to each objective's padlet. It took a while but what I love so much about organizing the information this way is that I can continue to add to it year after year. I am creating a library of free resources organized by objective...it would bet worth it even if it was just for me and not for students to access!
- Decide on mastery rules and base objectives. One thing Danielle and I have always loved about the self-paced mastery set up is that it allows us to differentiate the material more easily and discreetly. Do we have a student who has gone through some major family issues outside of school and has missed school? Do we have a student with a learning disability who needs a modified assessment? Do we have a student who needs more of a challenge? Taking all of this into consideration, I set up the BASE objectives. In order for a student to gain credit for Algebra 1, the bare minimum objectives I would expect them to master are bolded and underlined (this is a tracked class so this is the lowest level). I expect that most students who are in class and using time wisely would be able to master these AND an additional 5 objectives - I'll let them choose those. After they have completed this, I am done giving them assessments, I want to see them apply what they know and I don't want to see the same project over and over. Students who can demonstrate mastery of my basic objectives as well as an additional 5 of their choosing will have to come up with a project and tell me which objectives it goes with.
- Track and assess. I will still use Canvas quizzes to assess students on mastery when possible. The only time I have trouble using Canvas is when I want students to graph. I create multiple quiz forms for those few objectives to maintain the integrity of mastery. (Click here for more on how we avoid cheating in a self-paced classroom)
I added a calendar portion so students can see how much time they have until the end of the year and set goals accordingly. Each student has their own copy of this tracker on Drive and updates it daily. When they pass an assessment, they change the objective to green. Remaining required objectives are marked as red. I use Alice Keeler's Template Tab to create my own tracker for each individual student. At the beginning of each class period, I move from person to person and click on their tab. I ask which objective or goal they are working on and how they are working on it. I ask when they are planning on taking an assessment and assist them if they are stuck. I track this on my sheet and then move to the next student. This only takes about 10 minutes of class and allows me to check in with each student individually. It also gives me a great visual of students who are absent. Finally, I track their work each day. Are they using time wisely? Each student begins with 5 points for the day and loses a point for each time I have to redirect them.
We are not currently using the Self Regulation sheets but I am planning on adding it as a Google Form to end class each day. I am also still working on adding resources to each of the padlet's as well as creating assessments that truly fit each objective.
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