Hello all,

Well today marked the halfway point of the school year. I finished with final exams today, at least giving them. Some still need to be graded and put into the computer for records but that does not take very long and will be done later this weekend. On reflection of this past few months I have had a number of successes that I will be taking with me into next semester and the remainder of my teaching career.

  1. Smaller, more frequent, genuine summative assessments. I spent a lot of time this year working on smaller tests/quizzes that I gave my students instead of larger unit tests. This seemed to work out well for most students. Those who did not do so well had more chances to see where they went wrong and correct the errors before the end of the semester. The students also had a lot more genuine assessments. Instead of simple mutiple choice questions and other they had to explain and know the material to do well. It seemed to work well in the long run because my final exams in my honors government course had an average score of well over 80%.
  2. Reading Assignments. I am trying to remember to pair my reading assignments with other things during class. Such as when I give a test/quiz in government I will be giving them a reading assignment to introduce our new topic. In Street Law I will do a case study and reading assignment in the same day. Honors still has them as homework assignments.
  3. Essays. Working on doing more of those this semester. I still have not taken a lot of time in class to teach how to write an essay for my classes but I can try and fix that next year. Though with the amount of students who transfer into my classes during a semester that might be counter productive. Still something I want to try for next year.

Anyway, just some thoughts as I close out the first half of the school year. Have a nice day.