Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Second verse, same as the first?

With about a week to go before the unit test, I wanted to take a look at how my BYOD students are progressing through the second unit. Have they learned to better manage their time? Are they more accustomed to pacing themselves? Are they following the same patterns as in unit 1?

The charts below are our tracking board - the first one is unit 1, about a week before the test, and the second one is unit 2, about a week before the test.

We can follow one student's progress through both units as they have the same colour and relative position (with the exception of the new purple and green lines at the bottom of the board in unit 2: new students). Reflecting on the comparison...


  • The same students who paced themselves and worked through everything in order in unit 1 are doing the same thing in unit 2. That's no surprise.

  • Students are still getting stuck on tasks which as more of them than just demonstrating the learning goal (ie. all the blank space in the 4th column of unit 2). I was hoping the classroom would become a more comfortable place for taking risks with their work, but there's still work to be done here.


  • On the whole, the class seems to be keeping on task better in unit 2. The lines show better progress made on the whole. I see students helping each other more, and they have a better sense of how to navigate the unit as a whole.

  • The amount of time given to the unit seemed better in unit 2 (in unit 1, I ended up removing 2 learning goals to make the test deadline more manageable, but the students seem to be having no trouble getting everything done before the test in unit 2).

  • More students are hopping around in unit 2 - accomplishing tasks out of order - than they did in unit 1. It is an interesting strategy used to complete all nine learning goals before the test, and I'm glad to see more students thinking outside of the box.

  • There are more students in unit 2 who are WAY behind everyone else - mostly due to moderate absenteeism. More on that in another post.

On the whole, I'm happy with the progress being made through the unit, particularly as it is more challenging than unit 1 (factoring quadratics and completing the square are always such a battle with this grade level). The more time allotted to the unit has relieved some of the pressure to get everything done as quickly as possible, and quiz results to date are showing a very good understanding. I'm looking forward to seeing improved results on the test, too, next week.


  1. Nice to see the students growing. It is a hard thing to learn to take responsibility for your own actions.

    1. It's true... but what a great skill for life if they can wrap their heads around it!