Posted in CRA, PBL

My Senior Road Trip: Math PBL/CRA 03

This is the third post related to this project.  You may want to start at the beginning here to read about CRAs or view the previous post to read the rationale of using Google Slides and Google Sites.

After a few tweaks, the first part of the project has moved smoothly. The entry document becomes the students first artifact due to the questions and scaffolding included in their copy of the Google Slides.  When completed, their “trip itinerary”contains information on where they are going, who is going with them, the distance they will travel, how long they will be gone, and how much money they plan on spending. This plethora of information should make writing a report easy, right?  Today is day three of the project for my students, meaning that a few are ready to move on while others will need one more day to complete their calculations. Therefore, I rolled out the

Today is day three of the project for my students, meaning that a few are ready to move on while others will need one more day to complete their calculations. Therefore, I rolled out the CRA assignment, sentence starters resource, and example paper out today. In reflection, it does appear that the amount of support appears to be high. However, I feel this is appropriate for my students because many struggle in the writing department.  The introduction of the sentence starters further supports students that need further remediation; however, those that do not need them do not have to access them.  I did clarify to several of my higher level students that the writing piece was a short report, not an essay.  They were worried because the assignment instructed them to use three paragraphs; They wondered if they had to come up with two more paragraphs (They are accustomed to an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion). I reassured them that it was not a trick or a trap, and three paragraphs should be long enough for a short report.

The purpose of the report is to have students think about the math needed to plan their trip and explain how they calculated their budgets. The audience of their reports is their family and friends, so an extensive use of math terms and conventions is not expected. However, student writing will expose their mathematical reasoning as they explain how they determined the amount needed for each budget item. Although the math needed for this project/CRA is not high, the focus is on writing about math and not the math concepts themselves. The math calculations are complicated enough to provide good practice for students who are writing about math at an emerging level. In other words, students will not be lost in the math and can focus on writing a good report.

It is time for me to begin providing feedback on completed trip itineraries and on rough drafts of travel plan reports as students submit them. The revision process is an important part of the CRA. This assessment is as much FOR learning as it is OF learning – The aim is to have students make revisions until they reach a level of proficiency.

I will post again once we have moved through the revision process, which will also include information on our project rubrics.

The project and its resources may be found here.

Posted in CRA, Echo, Google Apps, Google Classroom, Google Sites, Google Slides, PBL

My Senior Road Trip: Math PBL/CRA 02

If you would like to see the first post about the My Senior Road Trip project or for more information on what a CRA is, click here.

The basic scenario for My Senior Road Trip:

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 12.58.15 PM
Slide 2 from Entry Document.

To help lead students through the process of planning and budgeting for a trip, I used Google Slides to create the entry document. Google Slides is a great way to present students with a step by step process or a series of questions to lead student thinking.  Furthermore, a template can be created in Google Slides and then shared with students set to make a copy for each student.  This process allows each student to keep their research and answers stored in Google Slides while still giving the teacher access to the document. Since this is the first CRA my students and I have attempted, I provided a great deal of support while scaffolding the project.  Click here to see the read-only document or click here to make a copy of the document into your own Google drive.

Although Echo can be used to host projects and their resources, I decided that Google Sites would provide a more seamless way to host Google documents and YouTube videos. Within one hour, I was able to create three instructional videos for Google My Maps, create a Google Site, and set everything up in a coherent way.  As of now, the website and Google documents are a work in progress.  I plan to post updates as my students work through and complete their projects, particularly as I introduce the CRA piece of this project. I am also including links to the My Maps instructional videos below.

Click here to view the Google Site.

Google My Maps Instructional Videos:

Posted in CRA, Echo, PBL

My Senior Road Trip: Math PBL/CRA 01

I want to begin by giving credit where it is due: Thank you, Mr. Spears, for the idea of using a trip scenario for our last project/college ready assessment. Thanks to Mr. Brandon for developing exemplary examples of Google My Maps & Entry Documents.

Rather than preparing a traditional semester exam for my Geometry B students this semester, I have decided to finish the year with a final project with a college ready assessment (CRA) piece.  As a New Tech school that uses project-based or problem-based learning as a model for instruction, it only seems to make sense to transition into a more PBL final. Furthermore, the CRA supports our school’s current focus on improving student writing.

For post 01, I will share some more information about what is a CRA.

For teachers with access to the Echo NTN Resource Library, Geoff Krall created a great resource that explains the difference between a literacy task and a CRA. You may view that here. Otherwise, I included a few pieces of the resource from Krall (2013) below:

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To continue to My Senior Road Trip: Math PBL/CRA 02, Click Here.


Krall, G. (2013). Individual Assessments of Knowledge and Thinking: College Ready Assessment vs. Literacy Tasks. NTN Resource Library. Retrieved from

Posted in Records & TESS

Adding PD Hours to Shoebox

This short video will demonstrate how to add PD hours to your Arkansas teacher shoebox.

Disclaimer: Do not forget to turn in any sort of documentation or paperwork into the admin building that may be needed for your professional development (such as an AP Training certificate).