Day 7 of #MTBos30 #July2014Challenge

Last year was my first year teaching 7th grade Math and 8th grade Pre-Algebra (2nd year as a teacher, I was the AVID coordinator my first year). The curriculum was several years old, and not aligned well with the NGSSS (Next Generation Sunshine State Standards). I pretty much taught to the workbook, assigned problems, thought students understood what they were doing, and then they would bomb the test. I then retaught the material, and gave a re-take and some did better. I had a difficult time trying to figure out how students learned, and how to teach concepts while also giving them practice through the workbook. Needless to say, most of the time I felt like I was Charlie Brown’s teacher.

The great thing about teaching is that the next school year is a brand new year. I have a year of teaching math under my belt. Our district has moved middle and high school grades to the Florida Standards (FS), which in 7th grade is almost exactly the same as Common Core. I received some great PD that came through our district by way of Math Solutions. Our district is moving forward with a new curriculum by Go Math. And, I have spent this summer struggling, learning, reading blogs, and stretching myself to do something different for the upcoming year. Enter: Standards Based Grading.

My first task was to break down the standards into topics to be taught. I was given a sample copy of the new textbook, and I took the time to break the lessons and units into individual topics. The topics are labeled 7-01, as I may be teaching 7th and 8th grade again this year, and want to keep the grade topics listed differently. According to several SBG blogs I have read, 36 topics may be too many. With only 36 weeks to the school year, and really about 24 before the AIR test, I don’t know how many we can touch on.

I found an OMGR! (one more great resource!) which comes from the great state of Utah. They have broken down the Go Math textbook into the CCSS and identified specific page numbers for each standard. Hopefully it will help!

7th Grade Concept Thoughts – Link to PDF