Day 13: First Quiz

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Lots going on today! Let’s start with the quiz that two sections took. I wrote it up on my full-length blog because it was the first I’ve administered using WebAssign. Here’s my favorite question:

Yesterday, the kids chose which musical instrument they want to build: a flute or a diddley bow. As they finished the quiz today, my flute builders moved to the back of the room where I had materials for making a PVC flute. Though I was inspired by several online procedures, this design was unique enough that I needed to set up directions for the kids. Here’s one step that was taped to a table with the necessary tools:

a screenshot of directions given to students on building a flute

We didn’t make as much progress as I’d hoped but the kids did a great job! (oh and the diddley bow makers started research papers while they wait for their building day).

a student uses a Dremel rotary tool to sand down a section of PVC pipe a student uses a drill to make holes in PVC pipe a student uses a Dremel Rotary tool to sand down a section of PVC

Finally, I’ve refined my homework routine and have been rolling it out this week. Every kid has this sheet that I gave them on day 2:


The Homework Tracker wasn’t working quite how I wanted. It was intended to give students all their assignments up front and I planned to dole out one assignment after each class meeting. In that regard, the tracker works great.

Problem was that the system was a ton of maintenance for me — I was updating Schoology with due dates, after looking at our rotating calendar to select those due dates, and keeping track of each class’ meeting dates (rotating block schedules are complicated!). So a minor tweak: every night is now a “choose your own homework” night. Since assignment lengths vary and my kids are involved in lots of after school activities, this also fixes the student problem of “I don’t have enough time tonight to do a big assignment.”

notes on the whiteboard with updates to the homework system



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