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!