MTBoS Mission #4

I listened to a podcast, the one “that started it all.”  I enjoyed listening to the discussion between Ashli Black and Daniel McMatherson, two teachers who are as passionate as I am about trying new things and who also struggle as I do with those new things they are trying!  Daniel switched to SBG cold turkey, just as I did, because he wanted to force himself to really think about what he was teaching and why, saying it has been hard but definitely worth it.  I switched to SBG because it offered more authentic grades, but soon found myself forced to plan much more carefully and deliberately than I ever have before,so I understood exactly what he was talking about.  Hearing him talk about how hard it has been for him makes me feel better about my implementation of SBG.    The two of them also talked at length about those days when they ended up apologizing to their students after teaching a lesson that no one really understood.  I’ve been there, too.  Listening to them validated my efforts this year to keep trying new things even if they don’t work the first time around.  And I loved Daniel’s “gift” at the end–wishing that all teachers could have another like-minded teacher with whom to “talk math teaching.”  I was beginning to despair of finding such a person outside of the occasional conference until I stumbled across MTBoS.  I’d love to listen to some more of the podcasts, but they are so long.  An hour is a lot of time for a busy teacher.


6 thoughts on “MTBoS Mission #4

  1. I have dabbled with the idea of SBG and have incorporated small tidbits of the philosophy. I keep telling myself that i have not taken the dive because no one else at my school is there. I realize that this is a chicken excuse.


    • It is not a panacea for all the ills of grading. Do the research and if you think it is better than what you do now, then go for it. I would not switch mid-semester however. And I don’t think you are a chicken. Change is not easy.


  2. I agree, I think 1 hour is a bit too long – or maybe it’s just that I’m from the “can’t sit still for that long” generation.


  3. I completely agree with your comment about podcasts being a bit long. I tend to skip around in the podcast until I find something useful. What’s nice is that practical ideas can be found scattered throughout the Infinite Triangle podcasts.

    As far as SBG goes, I’m in a similar boat as mrdardy. Change can be challenging, especially when it comes to grading practices. Moving to SBG not only helps students understand the learning process better, but I feel like it enables teachers to better their own teaching practice. Thanks for your reflective post.


  4. I feel like this blog post could have been me writing it! At the end of last year is when I listened to that podcast and felt the same way about “finding people to talk math teaching”, and am so excited and happy to be a part of the MTBoS. I also remember listening to it and getting very excited about SBG, which I, too, just started this year, cold-turkey, and it has completely revolutionized the way I teach, even down to the conversations I have with the kids. I definitely recommend it for anyone, but have so far been unsuccessful getting anyone at my school to think too much about it. (I teach at a small, Christian school where I’m one of three math teachers, and the only one teaching the classes I teach.)


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