## Monday, March 14, 2016

## Thursday, November 19, 2015

## Saturday, October 11, 2014

## Grades represent what...

The concern with communicating grades to parents is the idea of what is represented by a numerical grade. I have had many great conversations with school leaders about “the truth in grading.” Robert Marzano mentions the concerns with our current grading process in *The Mandate to Change Classroom Grading* which was adapted from Transforming Classroom Grading, Robert J. Marzano, ASCD 2000.

`“…grades are so imprecise that they are almost meaningless. This straightforward but depressing fact is usually painfully obvious when one examines the research and practice regarding grades with a critical eye.” `

“Today’s system of classroom grading is at least 100 years old and has little or no research to support its continuation. At least three inherent problems make that system highly ineffective: (1) it allows, and even encourages, individual teachers to include, at their own discretion, different non achievement factors in the assignment of grades:(2) it allows individual teachers to differentially weight assessment; and (3)it mixes different types of knowledge and skills into single scores on assessments.”

(p. 1 & p.3, The Mandate to Change Classroom Grading; Robert Marzano online athttp://reportcardreview.wikispaces.com/file/view/The+Mandate+to+Change+Classroom+Grading.pdf)

I have found these three concerns from Marzano to be very true. For example, in my PLC meeting just yesterday we were discussing how many points to take off for partial credit on our common test. The discussion was great because the three of us all took off “about” the same amount of points. I say “about” the same amount of points because they differ by 1 point here and there. But, this does show that over time one point here and there will add up to be a much larger difference in grades by the end of the semester. This could be the difference from a student making a high A compared to a low A, or even a student making an A compared to a B. And all of this due to only one point here and there. Imagine if teachers are grading right or wrong compared to partial credit. What then is the “truth” in the grades between the teachers?

Furthermore, if a student only misses a few points, let’s say 2 points out of six, for missing a “simple” concept on a more complicated math problem. Does this mean the student is capable of knowing 2 out of 6 or one-third of the concept?

Therefore, what is the "true" grade really representing?

## Wednesday, July 23, 2014

## Climate of Risk: Allowing for Failure

## Thursday, July 17, 2014

## Sucess in Math

When I was in college I asked my math professor who taught previously at Duke University before teaching at the small Georgia College I attended, "

*What is the difference between a the students at Duke and the students here at this college*?"

If you would, take a moment before reading ahead to think to your self what the difference is a small Georgia college and Duke University would be. ... Okay, now back to the story.

As I waited for his reply to my question, my mind started racing with possible answers such as the students had higher SAT scores, better study habits, are good at school, had really smart parents, and so on. But these are not even close to his answers because it was simple. First he said the student read the math section before coming to class (just read the section, they did not solve the problems). And second he said that they students would re-write their notes after class.

How difficult would this really be to do? To spend 10 minutes to read a math section and then about 10-15 minutes at home to re-write (re-organize neatly) the notes from class?

Wow!! You can make better grades and be more successful by using these two approaches.

## Lesson Content & Rigor: Is it Grade Appropriate

##
**Lesson Content & Rigor: **

*Is it Grade Appropriate *

*Is it Grade Appropriate*

As I watched my almost two year old daughter singing along to Barney and Friends (video is below), I realized that I could use this song in my high school math class. What?! Wait, did I just say that I could use a video that my daughter is watching in a classroom with kids that are about eight times her ages.

Students are being taught many lessons they already know because as educators we "think" that they don't know the material. At time this is true, but shouldn't we as educators want to challenge our students to keep up with the correct grade level content and rigor? Yes, we should.

So, then why are we teaching students to name shapes in a high school geometry class?

*Barny and Friends*are currently teaching this to my daughter thirteen years before she will be asked in high school to regurgitate this information.

Educators can fix the process of re-teaching already learned material by expecting students to have the prerequisite knowledge of your course. And if students do not, then this is a great time to give students video links of lessons for them to watch at home. There are many places on the internet to find teaching lessons on almost every mathematical concept. Or if technology is limited in your teaching area, spend a few minutes with your students who are struggling to teach them the material they are lacking.

In closing, we as educators must keep our lesson on-grade-level and push for high levels of rigor within each lesson.

## Friday, July 11, 2014

## Problem Solving

##
**Problem Solving**

**Problem Solving**

So today I went to the grocery store with my almost 2 year old daughter. We went down an islethat contained kid toys to get to the back of the store. And I am sure I am like many other parent to travel down the one isle in the store with a kid. As we passed by the balls, my daughter starts saying, "ball, ball, ball." So I reached into the ball pen to let her choose a purple or pink ball to take home. She was very happy, smiled throughout the store and played with it for hours that day. I am glad I bought the ball for my daughter today because it made her happy, so it made he happy for her.

In this short story, I wanted to suggest the idea of how I could have avoid buying the ball (had I needed to or wanted to not buy it). I could have read the sign above the isle to see that it was the toy isle. I could have looked down the isle instead of laughing with my daughter. I could have done many different things in

*to have avoided the toy isle.*

**reflection**When we

*about how we can improve we are*

**reflect**__to find new, better, or different solutions to situations in our current life.__

**problem solving**Now lets bring

*and*

**problems****into the mathematical classroom. Teachers should be creating the mathematical problems that students will reflect on throughout the class period and later that night because during the time of thinking back about the math problem our brains are finding new and better ways to obtain a solution, which is also know as**

__reflections____.__

**problem solving**## Thursday, July 10, 2014

## Making Math Matter

## Friday, February 21, 2014

## What is a Flipped Classroom?

The new buzz word in education is flipping a classroom. A flipped classroom is a teacher’s website where their students go to get class lectures or class teaching notes. The expectation is that students will watch the lectures videos the night before the material used in class the next day. Then material taught in class is done through practice problems, “real world” problems, projects, or activities. Because the students are watching the typical teaching lectures online, this frees up class time to be spent on engaging students into the lessons through “real world” problems or activities.

Does the flipped classroom work? This all depends on the teacher, the students, and the expectations of the class. Teachers who have the expectation of students watching the videos and force the students to watch the videos in order to understand of to solve the “real world” problems that are completed in the classroom, then these teachers find much success. On the other hand, if teachers give-in to the students who did not watching the videos and teach the online lesson during class time (these students are not meeting the expectations), then these teachers find the flipped classroom experience less successful. Therefore, there must be the expectation to the students that they must watch the videos.

Do you have classroom computers? Classroom computers are a must because students who cannot access the videos at home need a way to watch videos and those who have not watched the videos will need a place to watch the videos before engaging into the classroom activities.

How do you know if the students have watched the videos? Student will need to complete an assessment before being allowed to participate in the classroom activities. These assessments can be guided notes, warm-ups, or an online notes quiz that will give teachers evidence and feedback about how well the students understand the lesson video. These assessments should be the prerequisite before starting the in-class lesson or activities such as labs or projects.

What is the purpose of your flipped classroom? The concept of mastery flipped classrooms is a design in which students watch the online video(s) about a lesson and then must reach a master level of knowledge before participating in the in-class lesson. To obtain the mastery level for each lesson, teachers assign an assessment to the students in which students must meet a minimum score in order to move on to the next lesson video or the in-class lesson activity. On the other hand, a flipped classroom can be designed for students to just take lesson notes or guided notes before being allowed to participate in the in-class activity. This design of concept understanding has the students only obtain the notes from the videos, and then the teachers must find out the depth of knowledge from the students while teaching the in-class activities.

How important is the design? The most important part of designing your flipped classroom is simplicity and consistency. Both of these ideas are subjective to the designer, however, asking your students for feedback about your design will help to improve the design and functionality of your flipped classroom website. Furthermore, be prepared to spend much time working on the design of your website.

Teaching classes through a flipped classroom design takes much work and preparation in creating and finding lesson videos, designing the website, and keeping the materials on the website such as worksheets and assignment current. Furthermore, it takes teachers willing to have a constant expectation that their lessons are online only. Lastly, teachers must be prepared to grade the daily assessments from the students watching the lesson video(s) quickly. These should be graded no longer than a 1 day turn around or should be done within the first 10 minutes of class if there is an in-class activity planned in which the lesson video is a prerequisite.

## Sunday, December 8, 2013

## Teaching Trigonometry with Technology

## Saturday, August 31, 2013

## Flipped Classroom

Many teachers have been asking how to record lessons to create a flipped classroom or blended classroom.

To record your lessons or tutorials you must first find the way you want to record the lessons/tutorials. Some ways to do this are by using your cell phone to record videos, a document camera, a webcam, or a screencasting program. Once you have your video recorded and ready to post, simply upload it to your webpage, YouTube, teachertube, or another hosting site/location.

(Example at www.CurletteMath.com , then go to TrigOnline).

## Sunday, March 10, 2013

## Motivating Students to Achieve More …. Test Point System

**Motivating Students to Achieve More …. Test Point System**

**How is this done?**

**What are the advantages of this motivation system?**

## Thursday, March 7, 2013

## QR Code Word Wall

Here is a technological way to create a word wall using QR codes. Each vocabulary word contains a QR Code that is linked to a webpage with an example, a YouTube video, or a lesson video from my website. An advantage for using a QR Codes is to allow more information to be associated with each word. Also, the QR Codes are a quick way for students to access and store the voabulary words associated with your course.

How to create this word wall?

- Choose the words for your word wall.
- Google each of these words
- Choose the website or webpage for your QR Code
- Create your QR Code with a QR Code Generator such as www.qrstuff.com or http://www.the-qrcode-generator.com/
- Now place the QR Code with the vocabulary word... Your Done !!