Thursday, September 20, 2012

With Students in Mind: Episode 14

In episode 14, Waverly - Shell Rock Middle School principal Steve Kwikkel shared about how his building is cultivating passion-based learning experiences in study halls.

Be sure to follow Steve's blog, "Middle Man 2012" and follow him on Twitter.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

With Students in Mind: Episode 13

In episode 13, guest Dr. Scott McLeod shared about his upcoming role as Director of Innovation at Prairie Lakes AEA.

Our conversation focused primarily on Scott's vision for his new position and its impact on the schools Praire Lakes AEA serves, but we also managed to have a few laughs along the way.

Which episode of WSIM is Scott's favorite?  Tune in to WSIM13 to find out!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

With Students in Mind: Episode 12

Episode 12 was our first attempt at live video:

Thanks to guest, John T. Spencer, 6th grade teacher from Arizona for joining us to talk about common formative assessments.

These two documents were referenced:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

With Students in Mind: Episode 11

An Iowa teacher recently contacted Russ and inquired about implementing standards-based grading.
Hi - I am one of the high school math teachers at Central City High School and beginning Fall 2011 we are switching to standards based grading in our classrooms. I have been given the name of a few school districts in Iowa from my administration that have converted to SBG and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions regarding how you run your classroom.

My main concern is: how you transform your standards into final grades (A, B, C, D, and F]. I know colleges are not interested in getting a standards report of where they are proficient and not proficient, rather they would like to see what letter grade they received. Even though it would be ideal for them to see, unfortunately, colleges aren't at that stage, therefore, I must produce some kind of letter grade. I have been trying to do some research about how to transform a child's standards into a final grade. and haven't come up with much. So, long story short, do you have to have so many 4's or 5's to receive an A, or do you do percentages/averages of all the standards?My second concern is homework. In the past I have given students completion points for having their homework done everyday. However, I have been reading on other blogs that they don't incorporate homework into their final grades, as it is strictly standards. How do you incorporate homework in your classroom? Is it required for students to do it? Do they have to have completed all of their homework assignments to pass the course?

And then my last concern is assessments. How often do you have kids assess over standards? I have read and thought about it myself this upcoming year, is to test multiple times over one standard. Can they retest over a standard? How many times? What are your rules for retesting? Do they have to come in before or after school to receive "extra" tutoring, or are they required to have completed practice problems before they retest?
Sorry for all of the questions! I hope you aren't overwhelmed by all of them. I know there are no right or wrong answers on how to implement SBG in your classroom, but I am trying to get a feel for what other teachers around Iowa are doing.
Thank you for your time and I am anxious to hear what you do in your classroom with SBG.

Tune in to Episode 11 below to hear our response.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Monday, March 21, 2011

With Students in Mind: Episode 10

Thanks to special guest, Kevin Tow, industrial tech teacher at Waukee High School, for joining us to talk about change through the lens of his discipline.  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

With Students in Mind: Episode 9

Thanks to special guest, Jill Urich, principal at Waukee Middle School, for joining us to talk about teacher leadership and systematic change.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

With Students in Mind: Episode 8

Thanks to special guest, Dr. Brad Buck, Associate Superintendent for School Improvement of the Waukee Community School District, for joining us to talk about systematic academic interventions.