Again, I'm still trying to figure out how to run my class. The mastery method is great, but it is very hard to assess student work effectively. So, day to day, a student may be doing well, but when it comes to test time, they really struggle putting ideas together. Students expressed frustration to me at the end of last semester, saying they didn't feel like they were getting enough written practice and they felt cheated when tests came around.
So, I changed my class...again. I think this is my third model this year. We've done a lot of shifting, but I feel like its all been for the better so far. I've outlined my changes below.
- Students have written work turned in each week that corresponds directly to one specific podcast in the series.
- I live-teach on Mondays so students have the chance to ask direct questions and get guided, step-by-step direction on how to solve a particular type of problem.
- Every other week, students take a written quiz that gives them (and me) an idea of how they're doing in the unit. They can connect each problem back to the specific podcast and then go back and look at more examples if they need to.
Already, grades have been more reflective of their actual achievement. The real struggle with this one is that I feel like I'm moving back to the traditional classroom, so I'm struggling to find a good medium. Here's a link to my homework assignments if you want to look at them or use them.