Sunday, June 4, 2017

No Hands

Excellence in Education: No Hands Up
Did you know, that education research suggests that banning children from raising their hands in class improves classroom performance?

It can.

In a study conducted by Dylan Wiliam students were banned from raising their hands and the results were impressive:
  • Shy and struggling students did better
  • Strong students performed better
  • Expectations were raised for all students
  • Classroom question and answer sessions were not dominated by a select few

What are some strategies you can use to avoid hand-raising?
  • Cold call (randomly) on students
  • Have students write their answers on individual dry erase boards, their desks or on paper
  • Turn it in to a visible quiz with students either writing their answers down, displaying number of fingers to answer, A-B-C-D cards, or make use of a technology
Do the above strategies take more planning and class time? Most certainly, but it’s time well spent.

In the classrooms where teachers take the time to develop their questions and questioning strategies before the class, student learning increases and academic expectations and rigor are higher.

Useful Links:

Portfolio Assistance If you have a student who needs assistance setting up his/her portfolio, click here

Technology / Website Permission Request Form Please use this form to request use of a website that requires student log-in if the site is not already on the approved list. DART approved list

Calendar and Memo Items

Year-end calendar is here.

Final Exam schedule is here

Exams and Alternative Culminating Assignments
Midterm and Final Exams/Alternative Assessments account for 20% of student’s first semester grade (Marking Period=40%, Marking Period=40%, Exam=20%). All students are expected to be present during their midterm exam period and their final exam period unless they are exempt.  
Absences from Exams
The expectation is that all students will be in attendance for all exams (unless they are exempt, or unless their teacher has taken advantage of an Alternative Assessment - see below). Under no circumstances will teachers change or cancel exam times. Not including exempt students, all absences from exams require administrative approval. Upon receiving administrative approval, the student and teacher should make the appropriate arrangements.
During exams, students are not permitted in the hallways or cafeteria. Under no circumstances,  should students be sent to other locations, including the library, during exams.  
Copies of taken student exams will be turned in at the end of the year. For uncompleted exams due to student absences, a copy of the exam should be provided to the appropriate administrator and arrangements should be made to grade these exams.
Exemption from Final Exams
For classes offering final exams, a student is exempt from the exam if he/she meets the following criteria:
  • A 90% or higher in the class for the FINAL grade
  • No in-school or out-of-school suspensions
Alternative Assessment
If a teacher elects to use an Alternative Assessment, all students in the class are expected to complete it. All students are expected to attend class until the final class day of school.  They do not need to attend the final exam period for that course because students completing an Alternative Assessment will not have a final exam. The Alternative Assessment will be 20% of the student’s semester grade.

Entering Exams and Year-End Projects in PowerTeacher
  1. use the date 6/8/2017 for your final exam assignment. This date will place the assignment in the E4 category.
  2. Select E4, and check to make sure that is the only assignment in that category
  3. For exempt students:
    1. leave the score field blank for the student, or
    2. exempt the student from the assignment.
All other assignments need to have a date prior to 6/8/2017, which will put them in the Q4 category.

May 24: John Baran
May 26: Irvin Johnson
May 27: Derek Frazier, William Trent

Shout Out
Great job by Lisa Haney for organizing our awards banquet!
Tip of the Cap to Laura Gaskins for her leadership with our AP tests!

Worth Your Time
4 Things We Don’t Know About AP Tests (We do know they’re finally over)

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

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