Math = Love: New Year - New Syllabus

## Monday, August 17, 2015

### New Year - New Syllabus

Guys, professional development starts tomorrow.  Tomorrow.  TOMORROW.

Today, I went up to school for 6ish hours to get stuff ready for kids who show up on Thursday.  I've given up on having my room decorated.  That can come later.  (And, by the way, I do actually have an excuse for why my room isn't super decorated this year.  It's a long story that I'll tell at some point.)  I just need to be ready to introduce my students to some math-iness.  ASAP.

One of the tasks I marked off my to do list this morning was printing copies of my syllabus.  This is only my second ever syllabus.  My first syllabus happened during my first year of teaching.  That was the day I realized that I was the only teacher in the entire building who had prepared a syllabus.  The kids were looking at me like I was insane.  And, a bunch of them thought I had made up the word "syllabus" because they'd never heard of it before.  When I was in high school, every teacher gave us a syllabus.  I thought every school worked that way.  Nope...

So, for the past two years, I just haven't bothered.  Last year, though, I introduced SBG to my classroom.  Though, to make it sound less scary and emphasize that students are required to reassess until demonstrating mastery, I call it A/B/Not Yet.  I'm definitely the only one doing SBG in my school, and this grading system led to lots of confusion and misunderstanding.  I spent lots of time talking to parents and trying to explain the system.  Their children had tried explaining the system to them, but it usually got twisted and confused beyond recognition.

This year, I decided to make a few tweaks to my A/B/Not Yet System.  And, I've decided to write out exactly how it works.  Hence the need for the syllabus!  I've decided it doesn't matter if my students are used to syllabi or not.  I need to know that my students know how their grades will be calculated.

This syllabus turned out waaaaaaaaay longer than I intended.  But, I wanted to make sure it was thorough.  Plus, it really, really, really helped me to wrap my mind around the changes I was making by writing them out.  I condensed everything to one page (front and back).  Originally, it was a 5 page Word Document.  Nobody was going to read that.

Want to read the whole thing without squinting?  I've uploaded it here.

Also, yesterday, I posted the page I'm going to give parents/students to sign to say they've read the syllabus.  When I introduce this in class, I think I'm going to assign different groups of students different sections to read, analyze, and present to the class.  Then, I'm going to have them highlight the most important sections and do some sort of syllabus synthesis page in their INBs.  Still need to plan this though...