Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Making Progress

There are two great aspects to my summer school experience with Steppingstones Academy.

1. The students and their desire to achieve--The students here concern themselves with learning. We don't give "grades," instead giving written feedback. Yet, each one of my students accepts that feedback and grows from it. Sure, they are still emerging ninth graders (in the fall) and have the universal characteristics. But I have not been cussed at; I have not heard a cuss word; I have not been disrespected. I have seen them frustrated to not get it; I have seen them ask questions in order to get it.

2. I am learning a great deal about how to run a "system." A great weakness of mine has been my ability to keep a day completely organized. I'm using a "Do Now" activity every class period, something I have never been able to maintain for very long. I've also made it my professional goal this summer to incorporate more formative assessments for each lesson. In the past, I simply taught a sequence of lessons with the summative assessment in mind. For the most part, my students have learned the material. But now, I will be able to address any errors in thought or process much sooner. Again, this is a work in progress, but I like it.


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