Archive for July, 2011

Wed 7/20: Eating the elephant

July 20, 2011 Leave a comment

It seems as though the blog has been on a big of summer hiatus — can you take a hiatus after barely a month in business? Anyway, we were away in Maine for a week, and now we are buried in work packing for our upcoming move on Monday. Then I hope to start posting in earnest, especially when my planning work ramps up in August. See you then!

Categories: irl

Sat 7/9: SBG 2.0

July 10, 2011 4 comments

This year, I am definitely going to continue using standards-based grading, but I am going to make a few changes to my grading rubric in an attempt to further distance myself from the traditional 0-100 ABCDF system. Instead of grading each standard from 0-10, I am going to try Marzano’s four-point scale. Here’s my qualitative description from my rubric:




Expert: the student can achieve at a superior level, demonstrating abilities comparable or superior to those of the teacher.


Proficient: the student can achieve at a satisfactory level for the standard.


Developing: the student can accomplish simpler versions of the Proficiency tasks.


Emerging: the student can partially accomplish some of the Proficiency and Satisfactory tasks, but may need extensive help from the teacher.


No evidence of understanding

I’m curious to hear from other teachers who use SBG about what scale they use, and how it affects their students’ performance. As always, any and all feedback about my posts here is appreciated!

Categories: roger, sbar, teaching

Sun 7/3: Musings on blogging

July 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Now that I’ve recovered and decompressed a little bit from ISTE, it’s time to return to my main job this summer, which is to plan my new course on Digital Citizenship. As a reminder, this is basically a course on how to use various Web 2.0 technologies effectively.

The first one out of the gate is blogging. Based on my work for the last three years in my children’s blog, I think I am pretty comfortable personally with this technology, but I’ve never taught it before. In particular, I’m not sure yet about what sort of rubric to use to assess students’ blogs. Beyond simply making them post, what should I be looking for to determine quality?

My first thoughts are in the tables below. This is an adaptation of Grant Wiggins’ “Understanding by Design” methodology for course development. Of course, I would appreciate your feedback!

What will students understand
as a result of this unit?

What “essential” and “unit” questions will focus this unit?

Students will understand that blogs can be used for a variety of different purposes, but all of them are designed to allow for periodic publishing of new content.

What is the purpose of this blog?

Students will understand that in addition to creating a well-written message, students must include appropriate hyperlinks and tag the post correctly.

How should I create this new post?

Students will understand that they need to choose the appropriate widgets for their blog page, and lay out the page in a way that makes it easy for readers to navigate.

How should I structure my blog page?

Students will understand that blogs give the power of publishing to individuals, and connect common cohorts together.

How are blogs changing communication?

Categories: blog, CO335, Hotchkiss, iste, teaching