Friday, May 3, 2013

PLE Week 4 - What's in a Number?

Here we are, four weeks in to fourth term.  For all intents and purposes, we really only have four weeks left. What an action packed four weeks that will be!  This blog post will focus on the stats. Where should students be at this point? What pace should they be keeping up to? How many students are at pace?

Taking account of missed classes and the first three days of set up, students are left with 37 days of actual class time. With 50 standards necessary to achieve complete mastery, it works out to students needing to master 1.345 standards per day. Weekly, that works out to roughly 7 standards per week. As of this writing, I have no yet looked over their portfolios for this previous week.  This leaves approximately 12 days of classwork.  So how many students made it to 16 standards mastered?

Currently, 11 out of my 26 students are on pace to complete all 50 standards on time. In other words, nearly 50% of my students are on pace for 100%. Another 4 students are within 3 of the target, putting them in the "B" range (if we need to translate into letter grades, which unfortunately, we do). That is where the drop off happens. 2 more students are a little over half the pace, while the rest or below half there. That means 9 students are on pace to master half or less of the standards.

So what does this mean?  Although this format allows for true differentiation, I can see I need to do a better job of keeping those students on task and providing support where they are at. This means I could spend more time counseling with them during class, I could change the seats to move them closer together, and I could require them to attend my "mini-sessions".  I also could, instead of allowing them to choose their own projects, spur them on to complete the standards through pre-made projects. I would hate to do that because the choice and self-pacing are crucial to my philosophy in here. However, I do have a responsibility to put all students in a successful position.

This week, the rubber meets the road. I need to do more than I have done to this point to support those who are lagging, while still giving the necessary attention to the rest of the students. This is going to be quite the challenge, but I'm excited to see what is possible. Until next week!

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