Every successful person, team, organization, and company has goals. After weeks of reading and learning I have come to some conclusion for goals for my classroom. I believe that goals should be challenging and attainable. The past two weeks I have been encouraged by others at my school to strive to make changes and that is what I aim to do through these goals.
Goal 1: Transition to Standard Based Grading
I want my students to focus on their learning and understanding and not achieving some number that we call a grade. I have noticed that grades are not the best indicator of students understanding. The grades that we currently use have too many factors that include student behavior and responsibility. For example, I have a student who has an average of 84, but is one of the brightest students in my class. This number does not reflect her understanding of the material. My research has led me to many blogs and videos where I plan to continue to gather information and develop a plan to achieve this goal. I find it ironic that I instinctively went toward Standards Based Grading when I first started as I developed an Excel Spreadsheet to record student’s progress on each standard throughout the course. My downfall came in that I was not prepared to implement this as I was using traditional grades and assessments. Here are the resources that have inspired me and that I will continue to look to
- Shawn Cornally – ThinkThankThunk
- Old Math Dog New Tricks – This page has many links to SBG resources
- Carey Lehner – I am a Teacher
There are many others and one in particular that helps implement SBG into a traditional gradebook.
Goal 2: Whiteboard Paint EVERYWHERE
I have realized learned about the limitless possibilities of whiteboard paint. Just imagine with me: desks that you can write on, walls that you can write on, tables that you can write on, cabinets and closets that you can write on! The possibilities for engagement, collaboration, and sharing thoughts are endless. I am currently in the process of getting paint for the desks in my classroom. I am researching the following companies: IdeaPaint, Expressions, and reMARKable. Once I have chosen the paint and start using it I will be sure to share in my experiences. I also plan to have my students provide a lot of feedback through their experiences. I would love to have whiteboard paint on the walls and even change the color of a wall or two so that students can use white and neon colored markers. I also think some color will help bring some life to the room. Here is another video that inspire me to pursue this idea:
Goal 3: Classroom Furniture
Do you remember the desk that you had in high school? Those uncomfortable, rigid, small desks? Well my students are still in those same desks. Just the other day I sat in a desk to help a student and I was astonished at how uncomfortable the desk was. Not only are the desks uncomfortable, but they are not useful for collaboration and getting students to work together. There are very few seating arrangements with the desk due to their design and the fact that students can only get into the desk one way. Another downfall of the desks is that they take up a lot of space. I want to do an activity in my stats class, but the desks were in the way. I would love for my students to be able to easily move in class to collaborate with one another and also have the opportunity to remove themselves for time to think and create on their own (that is the introvert in me). I have been researching different companies for the furniture as well as ways to finance the furniture. I am currently researching what desk and chair that I will plan to get as well as potentials grants.
Well there you have it! My big ideas for my classroom. I know all of these are lofty and potentially long range goals, but I believe with hard work that all of them can become a reality. In the meantime I will continue to work on small changes to continue to improve my classroom and the atmosphere that I help create for my students.
I will continue to post about my progress and update this post with links to future posts.