I will be teaching six sections in a block schedule - five sections of Humanities History and one section of Personal Finance. I plan to continue using 3DGameLab with one class, which as you know is something I feel passionate about using, particularly with students who need individualized instruction. We will be traveling through 20th century America, collecting clues and solving mysteries.
I am trying a holistic approach to my grading this year. Instead of grading each individual assignment, I am giving three grades to each student per week.
From my syllabus:
Weekly Grades: Students will receive three weekly grades: effort, content mastery, and communication skills.
Effort - Students are expected to participate in classes. iPads will be used in every class. Failure to bring an iPad to class will result in the loss of points. Students will earn points by taking part in class activities and completing assignments on time. 25 points
Content Mastery - Students will demonstrate content mastery in a myriad of ways. In any given class you might see students directing short films, crafting comic strips, creating eBooks, writing essays, or giving presentations. Grades are determined by students showing that they have correctly learned the objectives. Homework, when assigned, would also fall into this category. 50 points
Communication Skills - It is essential, particularly in the Humanities, that students work to improve their communication skills: writing and speaking. These grades reflect the success students have made in communicating their ideas and learning to others. 25 points
For example: Let’s say you spent a week researching the fashion of the 1920’s and presented your findings to the class in a creative video. If you goofed around during class and did not wisely use your time, you would lose effort points. However, if the content of your video was accurate and well-researched, you would receive full content mastery points. In addition, if your video communicated your topic well, you would receive full communication skills points.
** It’s important to note that you will only receive 1 content mastery grade per week, no matter how many assignments are completed in-class or at home (aside from tests and large projects). The content mastery grade is an average of your weekly performance. However, you will receive feedback on each individual assignment.
Keeping track of the weekly grades will be a challenge, but my goal is to better reflect student learning in the way grades are reported. I am using ClassDojo again to track participation.
I'm having a bit of an identity crisis with my website/twitter name: techielit. I no longer teach literature! Should I change the name, or keep it? What do you think?