The 8th grade classes received their assessments from Friday. I am happy to report that the class average went up from a 36% to over an 88%. The numbers are supporting my belief that the students are learning how to solve multi-step equations. I did notice one common theme with the ones we missed: students are still forgetting to distribute the second term in the parentheses. This will need to be reviewed before Friday. The summative assessment at the end of the week will hopefully support my claim of constant class improvement further.
The 6th and 7th grade classes were disrupted due to class pictures. I was able to get the students that were present in class into groups to work through sample problems from our class folders. I was able to use this time to visit with students that were having difficulty with particular problems. I was able to provide them feedback to help them work through the problems. Finding times for face to face discussion is important with may students. I had to improvise, but I believe it helped many of them.
I do think the inclusion of this group work in almost every class has been an important change this year in my instructional planning. This planned group work allows the students to practice what I demonstrated to the whole group. It allows them to collaborate with each other and ask questions. I make sure they have discussed the "issue" with each other before asking for help from me. I want them to discuss things with each other prior to coming to me for assistance. This gives them a chance to defend their answers/methods/procedures before coming to me to verify.