Chart A Course…

This looks like a pretty serious meeting…

This isn’t a Magic: The Gathering post. Our tournament starts today, so Round One Pool Sheets will get that level of scrutiny, but this is not about that. Although, that is more of the Weatherlight crew. It was fun to draw.

This is also not a post about teacher meetings. It would be much more sarcastic, in terms of the art, if it were.

It’s actually, in an odd sense, a post about my lesson plans for today, and the follow up lesson plan in two and a half weeks. I rarely write posts about the actual lesson plans, so this seems like an interesting divergence. If it isn’t, I’m sure you will let me know.

I have been working hard at balancing my gradebook and staying up to date on things, because there is an upcoming report card. The grading window opens on Thursday, but then Spring Break happens, so it STAYS open until the 29th of April. It’s an autocomputing gradebook spreadsheet, so I can run statistical analyses at will. I do that, and often.

Right now, I have students in two factions: students that are doing well, a preponderance of “B” grades, and students that are failing. If that seems odd, you are very, very right.

The main issue is not that the students are failing to understand the material, either. When I run an analysis of the failing students’ grades, the typical student in that range is missing approximately three weeks worth of assignments. It’s simply that they aren’t turning in material that they have done, or doing it in the first place.

I consulted with other teachers, and this is an “across the board” problem.

With a report card coming up, I wanted to include the students in the solution. I consulted with another teacher, and after a long discussion, we came up with the idea of a “goal setting” lesson plan. The idea is to create a worksheet that would allow students to define a long term goal (like, the far future), a mid range goal (a few months from now), and a short term goal (the next two weeks). Then, they need to see where they stand (academically) with respect to that short term goal. That’s easy enough with the computer grading system.

Then…they need to create a plan to execute that would get them to that goal.

Finally, they need to keep the worksheet, and track their progress toward that goal.

Honestly, the easiest goal to track is the one for passing my class, and I kind of hope that they choose that as the option. With my “rolling late policy” and willingness to stay after school to help, it’s an easy enough plan.

Will this help? I don’t honestly know. I’ve never done anything like this before, because I haven’t had to. By the 29th, I’ll have a better idea of the utility of this lesson plan.

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