To start class, we do one of the following:
1. A DOL from The Chortling Bard - Caught'ya! Grammar With a Giggle for High School. In my 10th grade class, we're using the storyline of Twelfth Night. In my 10th grade support class, we're using Much Ado About Nothing. It breaks up the story into daily sentence corrections with etymology and vocabulary development built in. I post it as an assignment on Edmodo, then they get three minutes to correct it on their own. I random call or take volunteers to correct it, then they turn it in. To grade it, I choose one/two focus points and if they got those right, they get credit. If not, they get reduced credit.
2. A review of what we did in a previous lesson. Today, I posted a timeline activity students completed in class or at home yesterday and they went through and reviewed the work of their peers. It helped them all review the book we're reading (Night, by Elie Wiesel) and gave me a good indication of who had mastered the material and who hadn't.
After that activity, I usually assign the main work for the day or have them continue where they left off the previous day. I am moving from a VERY traditional method of assigning points and grading to a mastery approach, so this is a work in progress.
I'll use today as an example. There were two tasks that they were working on:
For students who were ready, they had their first attempt at the Reading Comprehension Mastery Test for Night. There were 29 multiple choice and 2 short answer questions, of which most were questions developed by my collaborative grade-level team and are used by all the 10th grade teachers. I added a few more to make sure that I could show mastery in each area. If they passed, they obtained mastery and moved on to the next activity.
The students who were not ready, either reviewed some of our previous assignments, or started the short story they are writing in conjunction with Davidson High School in Australia. The story is about resilience, and they have a pre-writing task to complete. Some did it on computer, some did it on paper (there are so many non-functional computers that we're short about 3 of a full class set in my largest section).
Tomorrow, the students will either take the test or work on their short story. They will be writing it on computer, and submitting it on Edmodo. Then we'll be swapping with the Davidson students, and they will be doing some peer-editing and reviewing with us.
At the end of class, I'll often have a final task that they complete to show me what they've accomplished or learned. If we're using TodaysMeet, I'll ask it there and they'll answer it there. If not, it will be on Edmodo, posted as a note.
Now, when we're reading the novel or watching a movie, class is a little different. For both occasions, I create a room through TodaysMeet (TM) and they all sign in. Then they post questions, comments, reflections, etc. live as we read or watch. I will also ask them questions and have them respond in the thread.
For essay preparation, I have them find quotes that match a theme and post it to a specific TM room dedicated to that theme. Same with finding literary devices. Those were the two focus themes for this unit.
Now about the mastery grading. I'm still working this out, so if I get something wrong, let me know.
There are certain skills for each unit that they need to master. For this one: identifying and explaining significance of literary devices, finding evidence to fit a theme, understanding historical context/importance of Night/Holocaust, writing an interpretive essay, writing a short story that shows a particular theme (resilience), and writing an essay that uses a properly developed thesis, supporting evidence, compelling commentary, and correct conventions of grammar/spelling/etc.
For each skill, there is an assessment task and several formative assignments. They complete a diagnostic assessment, which tells me what they need to learn. Then they complete activities that help them develop their skills. Then they take the mastery test, and if they don't achieve mastery, they go back and review, then try again.
I'll write in my next post an example of what that actually looks like for a single strand.
Hope that's helpful for some of you!