Monday, January 6, 2014

School Delay vs. School Closing

I'm always interested in what guides the decision-making process. Should school be closed for the day or just delayed a couple hours? Ultimately, if school is closed additional working days would have to be added on at the end of the school year. Lol....and who wants that. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Assigning Work During School Breaks

I return to school on Monday. Kids come back Tuesday. When they return to school on Tuesday I want them to present their projects that were assigned to them during the Holiday Break. The assignment was to create a PowerPoint and a Video about One-Step Equations. For the past couple days, I've been wondering what my return would be on students that actually did the assignment. Would I have 10% of all students complete it? 20%? 30%?? What percent of students would actually be prepared to present on Tuesday? Is it unrealistic of me to expect my students to complete a PowerPoint and Video within 2 weeks? I don't think so. I'm not asking them do an unreasonable task. My intention with this assignment is challenge students to do review their notes, research the topic, be capable enough to produce a PowerPoint and savvy enough to create a video. We are a digital society. It only makes sense to incorporate digital assessments. But some of my colleagues disagree. 

  • Parents feel like their children receive too much homework
  • There is conflicting research about whether or not homework increases achievement
  • Homework intrudes on family time
  • Kids need time to be kids
  • Homework is busy work
  • Homework has no relevance
Conversely, I feel that students need to be able to prioritize. Students need to practice efficient time management. Breaks usually result in unnecessary remediation. Assigning homework allows teachers to reduce the overall remediation/review time. If homework is assigned, it needs to be meaningful. Project-based assignments challenge students to think critically and empower students to take more of an active role with their learning.  

I don't know. I'm interested in the research about this. How likely will students complete assignments during school breaks? 

How likely is it that teachers will assign work that makes sense? 

Something to think about. 

Here is the project. I don't think it's unreasonable. 

Mr. Carby One-Step Equations Project
Directions: You must create a PowerPoint Presentation explaining how to solve one-step equations. You must explain how to solve addition equations, subtraction equations, multiplication equations, and division equations. Your presentation must include an example using decimals and an example using fractions.
·        At the end of the PowerPoint you must create a 5-question quiz on one-step equations.
·        In addition, you must also create a video explaining how to solve one-step equations. The video must be original, with you or your voice present in the video. The video cannot be longer than 5 minutes. 

Standards Covered:
MCC6.EE.5 Understand solving an equation or inequality as a process of answering a question: which values from a specified set, if any, make the equation or inequality true? Use substitution to determine whether a given number in a specified set makes an equation or inequality true.
MCC.6.EE.7 Solve real-world and mathematical problems by writing and solving equations of the form x + p = q and px = q for cases in which p, q and x are all nonnegative rational numbers.

Online Video Resources: