I have this quiz to grade. Its the first one. Just on marginal & conditional distributions in AP Stats. Two way tables. I wrote the key already, so I should be ready to go.

Except I don’t know how to grade it.

The last time I taught AP, two years ago, I would score it at 10, figure out to divide up the points for it, and do that. Tests are about 50. Ish.

This summer I was on the Grading PLC at work. We read the classic articles about Zeros and grade killers. We talked some about SBG. It’s all a little disjointed though. At this point, the administration wants to move towards SBG for next year, and so is trying to do some weird hybrid for now. Um, ok.

Basically, that came down to you-have-to-let-students-do-late-work and no more zeros.

I was still confused. And not really resistant, but unclear. I know how to teach. I know how to grade. I do (more than?) my fair share of different stuff, but I’m pretty unfamiliar with SBG. I’ve read blog posts about it this summer, but not really done any concerted research. And in our “lets try to roll it out next year” goals, we basically stopped talking about what the heck “it” is. So now I might want to try “it” but am totally stuck where to start. There have been some recent posts about it, so I found some of those references. I’ve not looked at them all yet, but I wanted to put them in one place for myself (and, you know, others…but really me).

Posts that are “here’s how I do it”

Teaching Statistics


Aggregates of a bunch of posts from various places

Always Formative


An old “carnival” that did SBG posts

We planned a meeting for Thursday after school for those who would like to learn more now and see what they can start implementing. I’ll be there, and so will MC. And really, what else do you need?

Do you use SBG? Any other good resources for me?



What Its Really About

Disclaimer: I’m not super political. I skip some* of the union meetings. Some of the policy arguments, especially about protecting bad teachers, make me uncomfortable. But I wanted to address this–I’m not taking the time to source everything. I’m probably (totally innocently) going to get some facts wrong. I’m sorry. Go read a reputable news source for the news. I’m just a teacher, and this is what I see.

I teach in the Chicago Public Schools. But not today. Today I marched. And I picketed. And I rallied.

I am on strike.

My feelings about that are complex, but the bottom line is I stand behind the Union. For a lot of reasons, and if this stretches on (please don’t let it) I will share them.

You can read this is for some reason you thought I dabbled in news. Its pretty good.

I got to work before 6 this morning. We rallied in the loop. I am exhausted. My feet hurt and I’m pretty sure I’m losing my voice (or maybe its just time to start sounding like a man?!). But today was good. We turned out. We marched. We had a lot of community support (ahembywhichImeannonstrikingstaffatourschoolhiprincipal). Our kids turned out. They came to the rally downtown, which shut down the streets, and I’m pretty sure I can place a good bit of blame for the situation with my voice personally on student N. Thanks a lot and who on earth thought it was a good idea to give you a bullhorn?!?

We all hope to resolve this soon. I want to go to work. My students want to go to class. Don’t worry too much about us. (Unless you teach AP Stats too, in which case please sympathize because I am FREAKING OUT about missing days with them).

I leave you with this, the world’s longest Facebook status. Share it if you want. You don’t need to attribute it back to me.

Just a friendly reminder that this strike isn’t about you. It’s not about you if you’re my coworker, and it certainly isn’t about you if everything you know about education comes from you having actually personally gotten one yourself. A while ago.

Whether or not I (or the teacher down the street) has “enough” money to live on isn’t the issue. We don’t say its about the kids because it sounds better than to say I’m money-hungry (such an awkward way to put it).

I love teaching. So do many of my colleagues–enough that we’d do it any salary. But creating a system in which teaching is a second class “career” that isn’t sustainable in the long term (unless you marry someone rich)…that IS about the kids. Making teaching a real career, treated with some respect, thats what is at stake here.

And actually, they’re my kids. Unless they’re yours too. But if your exposure to MY kids comes from seeing them wait for the bus or walk to school, please make sure you know what you’re talking about before you decide what’s best for them.My 15 and 16 year olds have taken the time to learn a little about what’s going on. They’re out there chanting for things like “contracts” and “electives” and “over testing”. Don’t let them be better informed than you, especially if you’re taking it upon yourself to determine what’s best for them, and for me.

Wear red tomorrow? Please? Thanks.

*almost all

First Day Reflections

First and foremost, ohmigod do my feet HURT. I counted three other teachers on walk back from the water fountain after school also walking around barefoot. So professional of us.

Today was crazy. The bells were all wrong, and even the right-ish ones didn’t match the clocks, so I was kind of guessing when my classes would each end (Hint: never quite when I thought).

But it was good. The residents introduced themselves in each class and tried going over part of the Do Now. It really took me back–it’s not hard for me now, or intimidating, but this was their first time in front of a class. It’s a little terrifying. This year I teach three Honors classes and one AP. Oh, and the lowest level course for juniors, which is almost half students with IEPs and no inclusion teacher. Everyone who has seen my seating chart (which was impossible to put together) has been shocked. It’s a really really tough group.

Luckily, I taught a lot of them two years ago and so they already like me/respect me. Which helps, although apparently not enough to prevent my mentee from walking out seven minutes into class. Figures.

In other news, my computer hates me, so I couldn’t project anything I planned on doing. A little stressful but I made it. And now I’m (super lame) off to bed. It’s rough, working full time.