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As a part of my Edutopia reading practice, I came upon the following post:

Mid-Year Reflection: Setting PD Goals by Monica Burns

In the post, she recommends a process of 
  1. Looking back on the year so far and acknowledge all you have done 
  2. Determining areas your like to grow
  3. Draft a plan to accomplish those goals
  4. Hold yourself accountable to these goals
So, I'm taking some time today to look at steps 1 and 2 as I reflect on the first half of this school year.

Changes in Learning and Assessment

  • Started the year with new collaborative seating arrangement.
  • Students completed a Personal Learning Preference sheet on the first day of class and revisited it during the course
  • Unlike last year, I began AP Physics by giving students options for demonstrating mastery from unit 1.
  • As the year went on I transformed the student portfolio into a vehicle to submit course artifacts for grading rather than simply a place for reflection.
  • I set up my online gradebook to be categorized by objectives.  Each objective was a grading category and the final category was Success Skills.  These included content objectives and science skills.  I graded all of these objectives on a rubric 0 - 4 scale.
  • I switched over to an integer grading scale 0 - 4 in my grade book, rather than points.
  • This year we implemented our first large scale Project Based Learning assignment.  I brought outside speakers into class first time as a part of this project.
  • As a part of our summative assessment in AP Physics for our sound unit, Students ventured out to teach 4th graders the science of sound with demonstrations and interactive lectures.


  • Peer reviews in Canvas
  • Used pear deck as new tech tool
  • Learned more about explain everything
  • Students generated their own progress reports which were sent home to parents
  • Gave students options for practice work

What am I struggling to accomplish?
It's tough making sure that students are being asked to take their learning beyond the simple understandings. I really want to push them to deeper application. And, hold them more accountable for it.

Where do I continue to need help?

Making sure the narrative of the learning is clear for students.  I don't want the learning in my class to be a series of unconnected events.

Action Plan

As I begin to plan for term 3, I am going to work on revisiting my objective rubrics.  I plan to rewrite them specifically with Costa's Levels of Questioning as my guide.  I am positive this will be a future blog post.

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