No Regrets


The end of the year is fast approaching, which prompts continual reflection for me. I can honestly say I have no regrets. I wouldn’t change anything, I would only make adjustments. 

Standards Based Grading

Provide a rubric and explanation of the standards for parents in terms they can understand. 


Incorporate the observation rubric more. Less papers you have to grade for formative assignments (required by district). 


Emphasize backwards design. This will help determine what needs to be emphasized “instructionally” and what does not. This will also help me balance conceptual understanding with procedural fluency. 

Mastery Assessments

Have 3 options for demonstration of understanding. Make it quick (use of technology), concise and manageable (this I’m still thinking through). 


Incorporate more of it. Think of building conceptual understanding and practice like tasty lemonade, it has to have the right blend of lemonade flavor, sugar and water. Conceptual understanding, problem solving and practice or procedural fluency. 

Community Circle

Be more consistent and don’t be afraid to try with all classes. 

Small Groups

Don’t get stuck on having accountability pieces. 
Always remember we are teaching mathematics so it can be applied outside of the school setting as well. We are developing thinkers and problem solvers. Students (and parents) may be resistant in the beginning, which could be due to their inability to see the big picture. We must still push on, plant the seeds and water our crops. Teach without regrets, reflect and make adjustments. 
This post dedicated to Pam White. 

Note to Self…


How to grade for learning is so important. I’ve shifted over the years as I learned what’s important to include in the grade and what is not. Now, students’ grades are solely based on their demonstration of their understanding. I don’t deduct points if they write in pen. I don’t take off if the assignment is late. And I do not give extra credit.

Currently, students decide which assignment they want scored from work collected in their portfolio from Wednesday to Wednesday. I use the rubric created using the Standards of Mathematical Practice and record the score in the grade book. How I manage the various assignments turned in, I list them as checkpoint 1, checkpoint 2 and so on.

Note to self, stating 2nd quarter, why not log the score in the grade book using the learning target it addresses. So all assignments and scores relating to simplifying expressions will be entered under the target “simplifying expressions”. This will ensure the information record is accurate to how the student is performing on specific learning targets.


Ideas spawned from reading this book.