Something else I am going to be revisiting is how I'm doing assessments. For the first 19 years of my teaching career, I did unit tests, sometimes with quizzes in between. This year, I teach 2-3 Learning Targets and then quiz - the most recent Learning Targets for feedback, the preceding 2-3 Learning Targets for a grade. Right before Christmas Break, I revised the feedback problems to "feedback or 5" - if students could show me they knew it, they could earn their 5 and were exempt from the problems on the next quiz, otherwise, they got feedback.
I have to be honest, I'm not happy with this system. I feel like I've lost instruction time. I spend more time than I'd like between reviewing and assessing. About a third of my students don't try anything on the feedback problems. However, when I surveyed my students, they liked having less concepts on a test. I'm not sure what I'm going to do next year, but I'm pretty certain that it's not going to be the way I did this year.
Lately, I've also been thinking about how assessment needs to be in class. I have always been a "given them a test to see what they know" person. With the revisions in testing coming from the Common Core, I have started to wonder about giving my students a task instead of a test for assessment. For example, when we did transformations in December, I had my Advanced Algebra 2 students do a matching activity in pairs. Could I count that as their assessment? Granted, I would need to modify it a little so they would explain why they matched the way they did, but could that count? If I'm going to use that as their assessment, do I allow them to use their notes? Can they talk to other groups? Should they even be allowed to do it in pairs? Normally when I give a test, students are not allowed to use their notes, books, or talk to other students. Does that change now?
I'm curious what you all think - please, if you will, address my questions in the comments. Thanks.