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The opening handout

September 7, 2011

I retooled my old day one handout/syllabus to reflect the changes I’m wreaking on my classes this year. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. Page one worries me, I’m hoping that my explanation in class will help smooth it a bit. I’m trying to walk the tightrope between keeping things friendly and encouraging, and laying down the proverbial law. Thoughts are welcome.

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Due to the magic of procrastination I’m posting this at the end of the first day of classes. How did the handout go over?

It went pretty well. I think I should have given them more time to read the silly thing. 25 minutes is a tight time frame. The kids I work with are a pretty grade-motivated bunch so I really wanted to get SBG across to the kids clearly. First and foremost to calm them down, to keep the energy positive rather than fearful. Phrases like “Master all the core objectives or you’ll fail the course” can be a touch scary I suspect. I also wanted to make sure that dinner table conversation tonight didn’t turn to the intense standards and unfair expectations of the lunatic Dr. B.

I think the talk went well, and most students seemed confusedly on board.

 

Grade

Core

>1/3 Adv

>2/3 Adv

>2/3 Adv

70

All

Not yet

Not yet

Not yet

77

All

Yes

Not yet

Not yet

83

All

Yes

Yes

Not yet

90

All

Yes

Yes

Yes

One concern that cropped up, from me as it turns out, is that a student who was discouragingly far from the next threshold of achievement might not feel motivated to make the effort. If you’ve got 2/3 down, why bust your butt to get to 100%? I don’t really have a good answer for this. Why not use a linear scale? 0% of the advanced objectives starts you at a 70% and 100% starts you at a 90%, fill in accordingly. I don’t think it would increase complication too much, would it? Thoughts from experienced SBGers? (This is where I wish I had a way to get readers…might need to just drop this question into an email. Or…Oh my…This is when I’m supposed to twitter isn’t it?)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2011 11:56 pm

    I do use a linear scale (at least for grades between 70 and 90) just as you suggested. I think it works well. I wouldn’t like something with such rough granulation either! And it seemed to make sense to my kids last year. If you have half of them, you have an 80. 3/4 would be an 85. Etc.

  2. September 8, 2011 4:01 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement. Looking back I don’t know how and why I got the three tiered system into my head. I was pursuing simplicity but I think I missed the boat. I’ll likely go to a linear scale on Monday.

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