04 October 2012
Inspiration: AP Tests
Why doesn't school work this way? When I teach study hall classes, I see a lot of struggling with math. If a student doesn't comprehend a concept, the class moves along regardless. These students end up getting a poor grade for the entire class because they were forced to move along. But what if they could get a good grade on portions of the class? The next year, they could pick up where they left off, rather than just repeating the entire class. And rather than just giving a flat credit amount to all students that get a C or higher, they instead give a certain amount of credit depending on the amount of curriculum completed.
I can't create change on that level, but I can attempt to apply it to my own class. Rather than push everyone along at the same pace, offer a variety of assignments that they can choose to complete on their own time. It might create trouble for grading, and sometimes middle school students simply aren't self-motivated yet, but I could work around that by using the star values mentioned previously. Students would be required to complete a certain number of stars to get the points, but keep it low enough to be doable. Stay tuned for my plan to keep students motivated despite the seemingly low expectations.