Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Slips, Slips, and More Slips

I had anticipated that with my students all working at their own pace, using a multitude of different resources, each day I would start class with a "you should be somewhere in this Learning Goal range" pep talk to make sure they were all on track. Today, for instance, with the end goal in mind, students should have been somewhere between Learning Goal 3 and Learning Goal 6.

What I hadn't anticipated, was the level of organization needed to stay on top of the multitude of assessments coming in from all these different Learning Goals. For instance, here is what came in during today's (and only today's) class:

Breaking it down, for a class of 26 (one new student was added today):

  • 1 x Learning Goal 1 (LG1) exit slip
  • 8 x LG2 exit slips
  • 4 x LG3 exit slips
  • 1 x LG4 exit slip
  • 3 x LG5 exit slips
  • 2 x LG6 exit slips
  • 8 x Quizzes (on LG1-3)
  • 2 x Investigations (on LG4)
  • 2 x Biggest Mouth activities (on LG5)

Luckily, none of these on their own takes very long to look over and assess. Students know to hand the exit slips to me directly in the class, which gives me a chance to look it over and provide immediate feedback ("Way to go - that's perfect," "Oops - one small mistake here, let's go over it," or "Numbers 1 and 3 are good, but take it back and check number 2"). 

To track student progress with the slips, I started using the TeacherKit app for the iPad (http://teacherkit.net). This allows me to see at a glance where each student is relative to the ten Learning Goals in the unit. It has also proved useful when the occasional student starts class by asking "what Learning Goal am I on?" 

Each night I sort through all the slips from the day, add them to TeacherKit, and make note if I need to revisit a student about any misunderstandings. Slips then get stored for the time being - they will be delivered back to the students two days before the end-of-unit test so they can use them for review.

I'm sure it's not the perfect system, but it seems to be working for now. I would love to be more paperless, but I'm not entirely sure how at this point (comments & suggestions welcome!). The students, too, seem to prefer the "comfort" of pencil-and-paper math. We'll keep tweaking as we go.


  1. Heather,
    Thanks for sharing this.
    I'm wondering ff organizing this electronically in either Drive or Dropbox would make management easier, given that you are moving to BYOD?
    Thanks for all of the reflecting! Great to have you in #OOE13!

    1. Hi Michael - thanks for your comment! This has been quite the adventure so far.
      I would LOVE to make use of Dropbox or something similar, but our board blocks access to cloud storage within the school :(
      If I could use Dropbox (or something similar), I would have to give some thought as to what the students would actually produce - it is more tedious to type out equations (to show their work), and while I could find a good handwriting app for the tablets, I would have to do something different for those on laptops... I could have them take a picture of their handwritten work and then submit the image as their exit slip, but would that still be saving paper? So much to think about!

  2. with exit slips or other basic formative assessments that aren't individualized you also might consider an online quiz maker, quizlet. junoed or google forms with a script for automatic grading.

    1. Hi Brendan - thanks for stopping by :)
      We've used Socrative in class, and I love it, but you can only run one quiz at a time, so it doesn't do me any good for the 5 learning goals various students are working on any given day. I'll look into Quizlet or Junoed... I love the idea of Google Forms (and the automatic grading!!), but our Board seems iffy on the use of Google anything (what with student data being stored in the USA). I've been using Google Docs for my own personal resources in the course, but I'm not sure what the policy is on student work. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for the ideas!

  3. Great post. I understand the challenges of keeping track of all of those slips of paper. When I used this type of exit slip we were using Moodle, but that does need a little infrastructure support. Edmodo is similar, easier to set up.

    As you move more towards BYOD, I am sure you'll discover great voting apps or polls so students can send the results to you in a better format.

    I look forward to learning with you.

    1. Hi Rhonda! We've run Edmodo by some of our staff and students, and it hasn't been very well received so we've veered away from it (and similar "safe" social media). I'm sure once I get a better handle of what works in the "traditional" sense of submitting and tracking, I'll be able to find/concoct something that will work on a digital level.

      TeacherKit is nice for tracking, but I'm not using it to its full potential (it can do seating plans, photos, attendance tracking, etc.). I also don't like the limited options with its gradebook - I'd rather have sub-categories, and have it track percentage of assignments complete... BUT it is a FREE app, so I'm happy with what it DOES help me with!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.