Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The last week

Looking back over the week, kids have been preparing for exams in year 8,9 and 10. There is a decided lack of urgency in their preparation which is something that needs correction. In designing the exams, I focused on the DET C grade descriptors which provides a broad brush of what a C student should be able to do. From classwork I'll select the A's and B's.

I'll admit to being frustrated with the exam process. Test the A candidates properly and the 2nd tier lose motivation, fail to test the A candidates adequately and they get lazy and overconfident. The middle ground where an exam works for both can be hard to find and I'm loathe to split the exam as this hasn't worked in the past either.

At least their final assessment for the term we identified those with independent learning capabilities. It was a quadratics investigation run over two periods followed by a test. 3A candidates were able to identify connections to prior learning and make connections between turning point form and transformations. C students missed the connection even after being taught the material explicitly.

The edmodo portal is filling the OTLS hole well. Past exam papers, course outlines, grades, homework and boardwork are all being exposed to students at point of need. It has been a few years coming but it finally fills the gap between the digital student and the classroom.

The next two years will be challenging, finding ways of delivering my yr 10's to university. Mixed 11 & 12 classes have a breadth of spread of ability and maturity. Although we have an above expectation pass rate and we now deal with late maturation a lot better than in the past, we still have a long way to go.

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