I've been thinking about how I want to arrange my Algebra 1 class for at least the past month. I started by taking all of the OK PASS standards and breaking them into learning goals. I took all of the released EOI questions and sorted them into these learning goals. Then, I identified skills I would need to review with my students in order for them to be successful. Finally, I organized the learning goals into units. This was the hard part for me - what order should I teach things?
During my first year of teaching, I tried to teach skills in the same order as the textbook presented them. I quickly found that the textbook order just didn't make sense to me. Since I'm not using the textbooks anyway and my district has no curriculum map or pacing calendar, the order I teach things is completely up to me. I love this freedom and hate it at the same time.
Last year, I jumped into functions and graphing with my Algebra 1 students in August. I think that jumping into new material AND learning how my SBG system works was a bit overwhelming for too many of my students. This year, I'm going back to starting the year with a review unit. My goal with this is to build student confidence and let students learn how my A/B/Not Yet grading system works at the same time.
I've returned to a much more traditional ordering of topics, and I'm okay with that. This year, I hope to actually stick to the order I've chosen. In the past, I've had a habit of making plans and then changing them without a good reason. For example, last year, we didn't end up taking any notes over systems of equations. I told myself we would just skip the notes and come back and take them later. Nope. Didn't happen.
I have quite a few more goals this year compared to last year, but each goal has a much smaller scope. This should help my students and I be able to clearly see where our weak points are that we need to work on. I am a bit worried that I will not be able to make it through all of these, but that would be no different than any other year. For example, my students and I normally review data analysis and probability at the end of the school year, but I've never had time to explicitly teach those concepts.
Here are my SBG learning goals for the upcoming school year. I have formatted them using the same template as my Algebra 2 table of contents.