Challenge Questions with SBG

One thing that I’ve always struggled with is adding challenging questions to my assessments within a SBG scheme. Like a lot of people using SBG, I use a 4 point scale. The upper limit on this scale is similar to an A, and for the sake of the post I’ll refer to the top proficiency as “mastery”. If a student were to get an A in a course I teach, roughly speaking they would have to be at the mastery level in at least half of the learning objectives, and then only if they don’t have any level 2 grades.

Streamlined SBG Scheme

I’ve written about my usual SBG scheme here. It works fine and many students take advantage of learning at a slightly different pace but still getting credit for what they know, once they know it. However, I’m interested in keeping small quizzes primarily in the formative domain, yet using an assessment tool that is based on clear learning objectives, re-testable and flexible. This post talks about a possible transition from using a few dozen learning objectives in quizzes to a new, larger goal assessment tool.

Math, Not For Profit

I recently read Martha Nussbaum’s book Not For Profit, Why Democracy Needs The Humanities. I really like the underlying principle of the book, and it is something that government policy makers and universities should consider, as well as public and private school stakeholders. The basic premise of the book is that schools are focusing too much on an education system that is believed to lead to stronger economic growth and GNP.

Where Do We Fail In Math Education?

The other day while looking at my MET course discussion forums I came across a post that made my blood boil. The topic being discussed was LOGO, and how Papert partially designed the language as a tool for constructivist learning of math for children. One of my classmates said they didn’t understand much about LOGO because she “wasn’t a math person.” My jaw dropped, blood ran to my head (or away from head?

Doing It Differently

Last week I was teaching in a Grade 8 math class and we experienced an interesting situation of different teaching techniques. I was working as a TOC (teacher-on-call, aka substitute teacher) and the class also happened to have a student teacher. The student teacher was an experienced math teacher from overseas, so I think it is fair to say that we both felt pretty comfortable in front of the class.