Friday, July 18, 2014

Out With The Old...

Well, I finally decided that I am going to remove the problem solving category from my grade book.  That isn't as horrifying as it sounds.  For many, many years, I have been giving students problems that would stretch them and get them to think a bit more creatively.  This was to be done independently of class time.  Some years, it has worked brilliantly and other years it hasn't been as successful.  I just feel like this has run it's course and is time to try something new.

As my classroom transitions next year to a blended and then flipped classroom, I am realizing that I will need to differentiate much more than I am currently doing.  I also need established tasks for independent work time or for fast finishers.   What I have done in the past just won't cut it for next year.  I have also been reading a lot about standards based grading and I am realizing that I have a great opportunity to replace something that needs to be gone with something that can tell me more about my students understanding.

The one hurdle I kept running into was the book.  Saxon isn't totally designed for how my train of thought was going.  As I was flipping through the teacher pages, that I've never really read, I found a list of lesson by topic.  As I examined the list, I decided to go rogue and not follow Saxon lesson by lesson.  I know it isn't recommended, and yes, I may regret this, but it is worth a shot right now.  So I am offering my apologies to all of the Saxon Algebra I users who are yelling at me as they read this.

The beauty of freeing myself from following lesson by lesson was that I was able to create.  I started looking through an old Transition Math and CPM Foundations of Algebra, Year I textbook that I had and found some inspiration.  I put some twists on a few of the ideas to match the standards I was teaching.  Once the creative juices were flowing, I was getting more and more excited about what was appearing on the paper before me.

Here is what I created.  I am excited to use these in place of the problem solving I have been doing.  I am hoping for a richer experience for my students and myself!


  1. I love your ideas. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you! Hope that they help you in your classroom next year Marta!