Well, I did get a few things out of today. It was not a complete loss. I will highlight what I think was worthwhile to pass along.
The morning started out rather promising. We began by talking about clickers. :-) In Youngstown, we have Turning Technologies who is one of the first companies to do this sort of thing. Since they are local, most districts (including mine) have at least one set somewhere. I should add that I have used our set in our building a couple of times about 5 years ago or so and I know where they are and you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as I get back in the building I will hunt them down and hide them in my room since no one is using them. What did we learn about it - well, we learned briefly what they were and that you can use them for multiple choice assessment and they get instant feedback. We learned a little about the software for the Turning Point ones and that's about it. I think many are using them as an assessment tool, or for review before tests. Wish I had more to offer but I don't. I think I'll have to research more on this one - but if anyone out there knows of more uses, please comment!
Then 2nd year teacher was back with his OGT prep tips. He does a Question of the Day for the first five minutes of class. He goes over the answer from the previous day, passes out little slips with a place for Student Name, Date, a place to circle the multiple choice answer, and a place for the work for a short answer/extended response question, and the kids answer the question on the paper while it is projected on the SMART Board. The questions he uses are from the released items from previous years. He makes a new file each week. He changes the order of the questions for each period. For example. let's say 1st period does Question 1 Monday, Question 2 Tuesday, Question 3 Wednesday, Question 4 Thursday, and Question 5 Friday. 2nd period then may do 2 on Monday, 3 Tuesday, 4 Wednesday, 5 Friday, and 1 Monday. 3rd period might start on 3 Monday, etc. You get the idea. That way it's harder to cheat from period to period. His 9-12 classes all work on the same bank of questions.
He does this for about 12 weeks beginning in mid-late November until the week before the test in early March. Each week he posts a tally sheet with how many points each student has (so it's a competitive thing). What I thought was awesome about how he does it is he uses an excel spreadsheet to grade them (except for the short answer/extended response) and keep track of student points. What he did was set it up to put in the answer to the question at the top of the sheet. Then he has a student aide enter in the multiple choice answers into the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet grades it. If a student is absent, a - is entered and he/she gets no points. Then, the spreadsheet calculates how many points the student has earned so far and he has it rate where the student falls on our rating scale (accelerated/advanced/proficient/limited/basic) based on the percentage of points he/she has earned (following the percentages from the state). For the short answer/extended response (which he gives one about once a week), he grades them using the rubric provided by the state in the answer key and enters the points in the spreadsheet. So at the end, he has a projection of how his students will do. And he's been pretty accurate in his estimates - in fact, in the two years he's done this, his students have done better than the projection (passing percent wise) on the OGT.
As far as credit - he uses the points to add on to their lowest quiz grade of the 9 weeks as bonus. So, if the student earned 26 points during the 9 weeks and their lowest quiz score was a 70/100, it would become a 96/100 (he actually said 70% and 96% - he does his grades kind of different. Most of the people in my school, myself included, do points earned/total points = grade.). It's the only extra credit he gives. I could see modifying that by saying that 0-5 points is ___ extra credit, 6-10 ___ extra credit, etc. I don't want it to be a huge sway in their grade. I'd have to play with it first once I see how grades work with the new homework plan some of us are working on .
Anyway - I thought it was a great idea and I am going to use it. It takes care of OGT practice, you don't do those dumb workbooks all the time, it gives extra credit which kids are always wanting, and it's not a ton of work. He's supposed to post the excel worksheet and if you're interested in it, let me know. I'll get you the info on it.
Then we had the local rep for SmartEd Services in to show us the new SMART Notebook tools. They were cool and I really hope we're getting them and sent an email to the tech coordinator about them. Most of the rest of the day was in the computer lab. We did go through videos (oh joy) and worked with some Google drawing program (I forget the name - I pretty much ignored it and read dy/dan instead since that seems to be where my Math Teacher Tweeps seem to think is the best place to statrt). Then we did some other stuff in the Moodle which I pretty much ignored and continued perusing dy/dan among other things. She gave us time at the end to look at what we wanted to, which I continued to do. :-)
I did express a little on the feedback form my disappointment. She did ask for suggestions of topics to improve it for next time. But I really ended up doing most of that in my reflection paper. I had to write it today when I got home because (a) we only have a week and we leave for the weekend Thursday and (b) I wanted to go through things while it was fresh on my mind. I hope I wasn't too mean but I hope I got my point across. You can see it below.
Well, that's pretty much it. Please comment and/or catch me on Twitter (@Mrs_LHenry). Thanks!