## Holy Lesson Planning Made Easy, Batman!

So my recent inner battle with these flowcharts has just been decided.  It’s a little map for ME as well as a summary of the section for the students.  Sure, I’ve gotta explain what each part of the chart means and how it relates…there’s where it’s up to the students to follow along and take notes.  But I’m thinking about assessment…what questions based on each step of my flowchart.  So each week I have a 3- or 4- question quiz that says “explain what _____ part of the flowchart means.  Then show me an example,” for each of 3 or 4 steps.  Here’s how I picture it.  We’ll start right now, assuming what I have NOW is section 5.4, working on main ideas 1-4 from the chart.  Each question is worth 4 points.

First assessment:

1 – easy question about first main idea

2 – easy question about second main idea

3 – easy question about third main idea

Second assessment:

1 – hard question about first main idea

2 – hard question about second main idea

3 – hard question about third main idea

Third assessment:

1 – hard question about second main idea

2 – hard question about third main idea

3 – easy question about fourth main idea

Fourth assessment

1 – hard question about third main idea

2 – hard question about fourth main idea

3 – easy question about fifth main idea

Etc…etc…

Then I have a crapload of questions in a big bank that, if a student still isn’t “getting” on of the main ideas, I can give a 3-question assessment on JUST that idea (on student’s own time).

Okay…fantastic.  So now in the gradebook I have, instead of “test 1” and “quiz 2” etc…When introduce the “easy” question for the first time, I have “Standard Form of Quadratic Equations” worth 3 points.  If they get the “easy” question about the topic right, it’s 3.  The next assessment they have, when the “hard” question is first introduced, it’s bumped up to 4 points.  If they get the hard question right, they get a 4 in the gradebook for THAT idea.  The next time they get a hard question on that topic, that topic will be bumped up to 5 points.  If they’ve gotten both hard questions right, they will get a 5/5.  If not, they’ll stay at a 4.  And if for some reason they completely forget, that’s OK, they’ll still get the 4 they earned last week (and will have the chance to make up whatever points they’re missing from that ‘main idea’ grade — on their own time).  Basically, each idea will be formally assessed 3 times, with increasing levels of difficulty.  If they prove mastery (and retention, to a degree) they will get all the credit.  If not, they won’t.  Of course, this will be supplemented by homework grades and in-class work, but again I ask…