The first thing we discussed today was progress monitoring. We had been emailed some probes to give to our students in May, so we were all eager to hear more about it. The probes have come from AAIMS (not to be confused with aimsweb) and our AEA is going to receive training on how to score the probes and use them to progress monitor our Algebra students. The exciting thing is that it will be at no cost to our district! My principal was pretty much doing cartwheels when she found that out.
The rest of our morning was spent delving into standards based grading. As a table we investigated SBG from Daniel Schneider's blog post on The Collateral Damage of SBG, which included following some of the links to other blogs. Due to my intense twitter addiction I had already read this blog, but was excited to discuss it with my collegues.
We continued our SBG chat with a guest speaker. Nathan Wear, principal of Solon High School, drove 4 hours each way to visit us SW Iowa teachers! His school has been implementing SBG and so he shared their experiences and resources with us. The principals got to spend a little bit more time with him, but for all of us it was very valuable. It is obvious that he is passionate about SBG and good assessment, and that helped increase our passion, too.
In the afternoon we participated in a lesson originally from Dan Meyer (Stacking Cups) and student work provided by Andrew Stadel. Us math teachers had a blast with it. Aside from the huge environment issues with buying hundreds of styrofoam cups, it is for sure a Unit 1 go-to lesson. Cannot wait to try with my students. We discussed similar situations and tried to figure out what our RtI classes (mine will be called Algebra Topics) would look like to support this lesson. That's the hardest thing for most of us to wrap our brains around what are we going to provide for these students to get them to be successful in a subject they have not been successful in previously.
That conversation about what our support/topics/RtI classes will look like wrapped up our day. Overall I got the energy, motivation, and ideas to jump-start all of my summer projects. I hope that I don't lose it!