I’ve done Standards Based Grading in Calculus for two years now. This is the start of my third year.
One of the things I have my kids do at the end of each school year (not just in calculus, but in all my classes) is to write a letter to themselves. But in the past. Yes, I tell kids to compose a letter that can be sent back into time, to them, at the beginning of the year. Things they wish they had known at the start of the year that they know now that it is the end of the year. And I let them know whatever they write is up to them, and that I don’t look at this until way into the summer. We seal them up.
I usually share these letters with kids the following year. When I do, I ask kids to think about commonalities they noticed in the advice from students, and also, if anything struck them. We have a conversation about that. I definitely emphasize that what works for one person might not work for another.
Without further ado, here is the advice that my 2011-2012 calculus kids wrote to their past selves, which I will be sharing with my 2012-2013 calculus kids.
To me, the major commonalities are… advice to do their homework even though it’s not graded, not to use reassessments as a crutch because it’s to your benefit to learn things the first time around, and to ask for help from colleagues and Mr. Shah.
With that, I’m out like a light.