Monday, February 6, 2012

Counting Down

The official "flip" occurs on Monday, which means I'm going to be assigning students their first projects at the end of this week. I'm actually going to Washington DC this weekend, so I won't be in school Friday- bad timing on my part. This means I have to work double speed to get everything done in time!

I am almost finished with the interactive notebook- I'll post an example once its finished. I'm really pleased with how it came out. I used powerpoint to create it. I put in the two column notes the kids already used, but incorporated maps, pictures, and spot check questions as part of it, all corresponding with the lectures. I'm hoping to have it done tomorrow, and to record at least the first units lectures tomorrow and Wednesday much to do!

I decided that I should also set up some kind of online gradebook so that the kids could keep track of their grades from a more accessible place, since this style of classroom is putting responsibility on them to complete the materials, it only makes sense that they should always have access to their grades. I used a site called Engrade. It was really easy to set up. I logged on and clicked "create new class" and typed in the kids first and last names and ID numbers. The site even generates a print out of all the kids access codes so I could send it home with them to test out. Many students had expressed interest in this sort of thing to me, so I hope they take advantage and set it up.

My school system already uses an online gradebook (though not one accessible to the students) so plugging grades in online won't be a huge change. I'm hoping I can do it at a faster pace though since I will only be correcting several exams at once instead of 100. I also think this will give me more time to really give feedback on essays and short answers.  I currently have to skim those looking for key points, rather than give them the full attention they deserve.

I'm getting nervous, and a little sad, I enjoy lecturing and I do try to make my lectures "funny" for the kids so I'm going to miss that a little...who would have thought! However if this method works better for the students- this is what I need to do.

I will update tomorrow or Wednesday with an example of an interactive notebook and an accompanying lecture.

Does anyone else use Engrade? Do you find your students utilize it? I'm curious if seeing the grade constantly change with their work will motivate them.

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