With only ten (!!) weeks left of instruction, I don’t think I’ll make any major changes this late in the game, but I am trying to make some screencasts to support students outside of class and trying little changes before going all in next year.
If I do what I am thinking of doing, I will have a full summer of prep ahead…daunting!
What I am thinking about is creating LOTS of screencasts – to teach specific skills and concepts and to review important passages in full class texts. It helps that I know most of the kids I’ll have next year; otherwise, I think it would be a little weird to create videos to help them without knowing what kinds of students they are and what kinds of issues they normally have.
So ideally, I will create videos on how to write a rhetorical précis and why you’d want to use it, how to and why they should use the templates in They Say, I Say, what a narrative/informative/argumentative essay looks like, how to integrate quotes, etc. Then they will watch the videos on their own, freeing up class time for reading, writing, and conferring. Still trying to wrap my head around what that self-paced learning looks like, day to day, in the classroom, but I’m hoping to get ideas from others who are already doing this.
The other part of this is how to keep track of it all in the gradebook. At this point, I’m leaning towards two gradebooks: one that shows completed tasks (watching the videos, rough drafts, participation in online and in-class discussions, comprehension checks, etc.) and a second that shows progress towards mastery on the standards. The first gradebook would be simply pass/no pass – either the task was completed or not (still thinking about deadlines and late work – and would provide parents with the answer to “is my kid doing the work,” help me manage where kids are, and enable students to self-monitor. The second gradebook would be for the semester and final grade and would somehow reflect their progress towards mastery on the standards. Not sure how one letter grade would represent progress on all the standards, but hoping to have some more concrete ideas by next August.
Still not sure how this would work in reality, but in theory, I like where I am headed.