Sunday, March 10, 2013

C4T #2 Post

C4T #2

My second C4T assignment was on Frank Noschese’s blog, Action-Reaction. Mr. Noschese has been a Physics Teacher at John Jay High School since 1998. He also was a Presidential Award winner for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in New York in 2011. That is AWESOME!

Physics Symbol VPython

I read and posted on his blog post titled, VPython Screencasts . VPython is a software program used in physics. These screencasts allow him to know which of his students understand their physics coding programs and which do not. This is a great way of keeping track of his students. Submissions will be made by students through Screencast-o-matic, which allows for web based uploads to You Tube and no download installation. It is also user friendly and Mr. Noschese has posted tutorial videos of good and bad example of screencasting to his blog for students to review.

Albert Einstine Image and Physics Formulas Hi Mr. Noschese! I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama and I was assigned to read your blog post. First let me start off by saying, "Congratulations on your Presidential Award"! That is AWESOME and says a lot about you as a teacher and a person. Your students are lucky to have you as an instructor.

I have never taken physics but I know it is hard so I think this screencasting project is a great way for you to keep track of whether or not your students understand the subject and the coding programs. This way you can help the ones who do not understand to well and are afraid to speak up. I also really enjoyed watching the tutorial videos on how to use Screencast-o-matic. It was thorough and easy to follow. I actually wish Dr. Strange would post some video tutorials for his class. I think it would help those students who are lost in our class as well.

Thanks for the information and I look forward to learning more about you through your blog.

Mr. Nochese has not put up a new blog post since the last one I commented on so I found an older one to comment on instead.

Keep It Simple Standards-Based Grading

I read and posted on his blog post titled, Keep It Simple Standards-Based Grading, or KISSBG as he calls it. He says if you are planning to switch to SBG, Standard Based Grading, keep it simple at least until you figure it out the first time around. He taught a section of conceptual chemistry which was new for him.He had planned to keep the same grading system as the teacher before him but when he went to grade the tests the point system was a mess. So he decided to switch to SBG. Here are his caveats:

A set of ~5 standards per unit. WHY: This seems to get at the right scope–not too granular, not too broad. Of course, some units had a few more standards, others a few less. Keep it simple.

Each standard was graded binary YES/NO. WHY: Prevents point-grubbing from students. No need to deal with questions like, “Why did she get a 3 on that standard while I only got 2?” Either the student met the standard or they didn’t. Keep it simple.

Standards that are YES cannot go back down. WHY: Prevents students from perceiving this new grading system as unfair. This can save you many headaches, frantic emails from students, and phone calls from parents. Keep it simple.

Term grade = 50 + 50*(#YES/#TOTAL). WHY: No need to worry about conjunctive grading systems, decaying averages, or tiered standards. Kids can quickly and easily calculate their grade. Keep it simple.

No student-initiated reassessments. WHY: This actually wasn’t my rule, but I was lucky if these students showed up to class in the first place. No one came to extra help or during a free period to reassess. So I just put the most missed standards on subsequent quizzes. It worked out fine and I didn’t have kids hounding me for reassessments when the term ended. Keep it simple.

Graded Test Image He put the standards on a separate scoring sheet and placed a check mark or an X for each standard. His scoring sheet can be found here. He then transferred the grades into ActiveGrade. He stapled together the score sheet, the quiz, and the grade report so each student knew where they stood when the quizzes were returned. The best part about SBG according to Mr. Noschese is that it,“gives multiple chances to be successful, gives better feedback about what students can/cannot do, and forces the teacher to spiral the curriculum to enable reassessment.”

My response to Mr. Noschese's post:

It's me Jamie Barbour again. I'm one of Dr. Strange's EDM310 students at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your version of Standard Based Grading. I like the idea of "Keeping It Simple" and the techniques you talked about in this post are ones I will definitely keep in mind for my classroom. I really like when teachers give back tests or quizzes with a score sheet and grade report. I like to know what I missed and where I stand in my classes. Thanks for the post.

I thanked him and left my Twitter address. I did not get a response back from Mr. Noschese on his blog but he thanked me on Twitter for my comments after I tweeted him a Thank You for his post.

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