Monday, April 5, 2021

New Quarter - New You!

 With the new quarter approaching, here is a tip to help keep struggling students focused:


SHOW THEM THE EXACT GRADE THEY NEED TO GET IN THIS QUARTER TO PASS.


The math on this is not hard (and is based on a semester-length class) - once they know what grade they want to get in the course (for some it is bare minimum passing, others it is a 70 or 80) and once they have the first quarter, all they need to do is to figure out how many points away from their desired grade and then add that (or subtract if they are ahead of the grade) to the desired grade.

Example 1:

Student A wants to pass with a 60.  He has a 47 currently.  That means he is 13 points away from passing (60 - 47 = 13), so he has to be 13 points ABOVE his desired grade (60 + 13 = 73).  If Student A does not get at least a 73 this quarter, he is not passing the course.  This is helpful to know because Student A may work harder and get a 65 and think he is doing much better, which he is, but he is not doing enough.

Example 2:

Student B wants an A in the class.  She already has a 94.  Since she is four points OVER her desired grade (90), she can afford to go as low as four points UNDER her desired grade (86) and still come out with an A for the course.

When you do this in class, you will find that many students have completely unrealistic understandings of how grades are factored.  I'll have a student with a 74 who wants to make an A for the course.  That's mathematically impossible.

You can use this chart to help you out or just google search grade calculators.


What about exams?

Well, exams have an impact, to be sure, but if you are operating on a grading scale of 1st quarter = 40%, 2nd quarter = 40%, exam/state test = 20% (or something similar), you'll find that the exam rarely does more than impact their grade five points or more.  Why?  Most students will score on their exam close to what they make for the two quarters averaged together.  An exam, using the 40/40/20 method, only moves the final grade 1 point for every 5 points it's away from the quarters average together.

Example:

Student C has a Q1 grade of 82 and a Q2 grade of 76.  His average is 79.  He would have to make an 84 on the exam to pull the final grade up 1 point to get a B (80).  Conversely, he cannot score so poorly on the exam to pull his 79 down below a passing grade of 60.  

Since most students are going to score within 15 points of their average grade, the impact is nearly as impressive as we often believe.

 A student who knows exactly what grade he/she needs to get is more likely to stay on target throughout the year, especially if you keep your online grade book up to date (which you really should, by the way).

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Kahoot! Update

I saw this about a week or two ago and am not sure how long this has been an option.  Kahoot! now lets you show the answers on the student's device, which is great for remote learning and takes away one of the biggest flaws in Kahoot.


I figured I was just behind on the times, but when I started using it, the students acted like they had not seen any other teacher do that before, so maybe it just came out.  If so and in case you are further behind than me, here is how you do it.  Right before starting the game, just click the option:



I'm curious to know if you've seen it before or if anyone knew when this option came about.  Let me know yea or nay in the comments!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

New EET Store Product - Questions (and Answers) for Every Chapter of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


 

Hi guys!  I have a new product on the Extreme English Teachers Store - questions and answers for every chapter in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  The chapters are short (mostly) and that makes for very adaptable lesson plans, because let's face it - you can plan out the semester all you want, but between special assemblies, drills, inclement weather days, and just the differences in the speed of each class, those plans are usually off track sooner than later.  This book is great in meeting your needs on the fly.  

The chapter by chapter questions let you  mix and match to meet the speed of your class and can be used as review, reading questions, check up quizzes, or moved into an online quiz format like Quizizz or Blooket pretty easily.

These questions were written for struggling readers in mind, so most are plot level, with a few deeper thoughts.  Some are opinion questions and most are aimed at helping the students focus on what will be important later on in the book.  A favorite tactic for me to use is to ask my students why I asked that particular question.  Gets them thinking.

If you haven't taught Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, you should!  Read this post on why.

You may also be interested in this one: Before Reading - An Introduction Activity for Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


I have plans for more activities for this novel to come out.  If only I wasn't so busy teaching, I could spend more time on this!  :)


Turdsworth

 


So I ran across this in an article by Olivia Rutigliano on Literary Hub.  It was just too funny not to pass on to you guys to check out!  So if you want to read the article and find out what Samuel Taylor Coleridge called him, please do over at: https://lithub.com/lord-byron-used-to-call-william-wordsworth-turdsworth-and-yes-this-is-a-real-historical-fact/

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Happy Pi Day


"3.141592," Tom said piously.





Well, math teachers shouldn't get all the fun!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Mythology Memes

 So I teach a mythology elective class which is so fun.  I decided to give them a meme contest and these are a few that they came up with:







As you can see, Zeus' shenanigans were a favorite topic!  I put these and the others in a Google form and let them vote on the winner.  Here is the grand champion:



So have some fun and before your next novel test, have your students create some memes on it.  Then let them vote before taking the test.  It's fun for them and fun for you and maybe, just maybe, helps them to remember and make a few connections they wouldn't have before!


Friday, March 5, 2021

How Do I Love Thee?

Tomorrow is Elizabeth Barrett Browning's birthday.  She is known almost as much for love letters as she is for her poetry.  For those of you who need a refresher, Elizabeth (and her ten siblings) was forbidden by her father to ever marry and have children.  When Robert Browning read her poetry, he fell in love with her and began to write her.  Between the two of them, they wrote 570 letters to each other before they ran away and eloped.  They both kept all the love letters and the door to the Barrett house which half of those letters came through, was saved before the house was torn down.  I believe it is kept at Wellesley College Library and was a popular place for college students to slip Valentine cards until it was sealed shut.

So why did Elizabeth's father want to stop his bloodline?  Well, according to one scholar, Julia Markus, in her book Dared and Done, It might be because either her grandfather or gear grandfather has a child with a Jamaican slave. Either he was such a racist that he did not want his bloodline tainted or, being an abolitionist, he was ashamed of his white bloodline and wished to end it.

Either way, it was the reason for Elizabeth and Robert's secrecy.  Her father never forgave her for running off and getting married and having a child.  She wrote to him often and he always returned her letters unopened.

Here is a reading comprehension practice for her poem "How Do I Love Thee?"