4 thoughts on “Gap Filling

  1. Hey Dane,

    I’m revising my concept checklist from last year and I’m wondering 2 things:

    1) Have you ever considered placing these “common gaps” on your concept checklist? If so, why leave them off? I’m going back and forth between feeling like it just adds too many standards and feeling like it would help me keep track of students who need that extra concept development. Thoughts?

    2) Have you ever considered placing “soft-skills” on your concept checklist (e.g. collaboration, knowing how to learn, math practices, etc.)? I feel like they’d be hard to assess, but kids could potentially submit evidence via digital portfolio and be graded on a rubric. This one is more of a musing…

    1. Hey Aseem,

      Great questions as always! I actually haven’t thought about putting the common gaps on the checklist. My initial gut reaction is that it may add too many standards. I like to keep the number down in order to not overwhelm the kids. However, maybe it could be something where we put those gap standards down below the Algebra standards on the list and say that gaps will be monitored but not graded. That way, we can keep track of the kids’ progress without putting pressure on them to make a grade.

      I also haven’t thought about the soft skills idea, but I like it! I try to incorporate those into my thinking behind daily grades, but it may be helpful for the kids to actually see the areas I was thinking of when giving them their grade. Maybe it could be similar to the gaps. We could put the soft skills down below the rest of the standards and say that these are things we value highly and therefore believe they’re worth grading. This may be something to talk through during the student mini-conferences idea you had a while back.

  2. That makes sense. My only tension is that these gap standards really impact how well students will do on other more complex standards. I like the idea though of monitoring them without grading them. That way if there’s an individual student who isn’t getting slope because of their gaps with fractions, I can direct them to improve on fractions first.

    1. I hear you. It’s the hard balance of getting kids to really focus on improving needed gaps without reinforcing negative mindsets. The kids who have the gaps usually have fears associated with them and looking unintelligent around their classmates.

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