Everything changes! If you’re interested in science but don’t plan to pursue a post-secondary program with a focus on science, this is the course for you. In Science 20, you’ll explore the concept of change, including chemical changes and changes in motion, and get an overview of topics in biology, chemistry, and physics.
In the print section of this course, the lessons are provided as PDF documents and are available from the course site. The lessons will direct you to specific textbook readings and additional content such as practice questions and interactive media. The content that was available on the Science20 CD is now accessible on the course site under the “Student Resources” section.
In the online section of this course, the lessons are embedded in the online course under “Content.” The lessons will direct you to specific textbook readings and additional content such as practice questions and interactive media. The content that was available on the Science20 CD is now accessible on the course site under the “Student Resources” section.
Note: For both delivery modes, the lessons are provided as pdf documents and are available from the course site. The lessons will direct you to specific textbook readings and additional content on the DVD, such as practice questions and interactive media.
- 56 (Online)
- 14 (Print)
- This course works on all devices.
NOTE: Online courses may include some print materials, and vice versa.
Rob Ficiur, a Colony Educator with ADLC, is sharing what he’s learned in his 25 years on the job. This post is Part 2 of a two-part Colony Educators series on his favourite resource: answer keys. Read Part 1 here.
Give students the answer keys and watch them learn more.
Mark Watson wrote the following about how he uses the math answer key to reduce his workload and increase student learning: “One strategy I adopted many years ago was to have a marking table for the students. They do all their own marking on daily assignments and I mark all the tests and any writing. It has been a wonderful way to free up my classroom time for other projects.”
To have students mark their own work, use a “Marking Table.” The rules for the Marking Table are that only students who are marking their own work can sit at that particular table. They’re allowed only a teacher-issued red pen so that any changes they make are recorded in the colour of the marking pen. Their work goes from that table to my desk for inspection, then back to them for correction or discussion. I believe this makes students more responsible for their own work.
If this is a new concept for you, your first reaction might be, “It’s the teacher’s role to mark everything.” But I’ve found better results with this method because I’m not “mothering” the students. They’re responsible for their work, their assignments, and their marking. I inspect the process, and they make corrections as necessary. They are independent and responsible.
As Mark Watson puts it, “It works very well for us, helps the student take more equity in their own performances and saves me hours a day.”
Higher Learning with Answer Key Available
In Junior High Math, I began using the answer key in a different way. Students do their work with the answer key stored in the next desk over, ready for them to use. (We have to get past the mindset that some might cheat and look, instead, at what can, and did, happen.)
Old mindset: Teacher marks and gives back the work. Your mark for page 23 is 70%.
New mindset: When students get a question wrong, they ask me a higher-level question, such as, “Why did I get this wrong?” This question indicates the highest level of student engagement. Students aren’t happy with 80% or 70%; they want to know why something was wrong—they want to learn the material. When the test comes and they score over 80%, they demonstrate that they’ve mastered the material.
I asked my Math 8 students why this has worked better for them. Their answers were all something like this: “There’s immediate feedback. I know right away if I did it wrong.” Under the traditional “teacher-marks-it-all” system, the students would hand a math assignment in on Monday and get it back marked on Tuesday. About 23 hours of time has gone by in the meantime. At best, the Monday math questions are no longer at the top of students’ mind. Under the new system, students’ minds remain on the question at hand. Now they know what they’re doing wrong, and can apply that to the next question.
With the traditional system, when students got Tuesday’s assignments their focus shifted off of Monday’s work and onto Tuesday’s. But if there’s no specific follow up, the reasons for Monday’s error may never be covered. 70% is a good mark, but does student know why 30% was wrong?
Caution: In my multi-graded classroom, not all students and grade levels are effective at using an answer key themselves. Grade 3 students, for example, generally aren’t ready. When there’s a geometry unit, I still have to mark. I also still want to give final marks for students’ word problems. However, giving students access to the answer key has greatly reduced my marking load.
Create your own answer key.
Yes, you know the answers to the Language 3 recall question worksheet. But you don’t have time to read every question and then mark the answers. Creating an answer key can speed up marking. In recent years, as I mark the assignments, I also create an answer key for next time. I’m still in the process of doing the work, and I use examples of student work for next time.
Build slowly: If you add just a few answer keys per year, it won’t take long until you have most of what you need to run your program.
Consolidate your marking time.
In my school, students do a spelling unit every two weeks. I wait until I’ve gathered all the units, and I mark them all at once. (When I gather the assignments in, I scan them to make sure students have done the basics on the assignments.) With the answer books in one pile and the student work in another pile, it takes half as long to mark all the units at once. And, because I have seven students working out of one speller, by the time I’m marking the third set of sheets, I have most of the answers memorized.
Colour-code your answer key.
First, to restate the theme of this article, buy the answer key—your time is valuable.
The next step is to use a highlighter to make your answer key more user friendly. In the spelling program we use, the answers are bold faced and reduced in size. At first glance, it can be hard to read the answers. But after taking a highlighter to the answer key, I can scan the page and get the answers easily.
No answer key? A rubric might work.
What kind of answer key can you make for poetry? “Nothing” was my first thought. Then I realized that an effective rubric can do many of the things a traditional answer key does in the following ways:
- They outline what the teacher is looking for.
- They re-teach the specific requirements for each type of poem.
- They give teachers a structure by which to evaluate a poem.
- They provide a simple evaluation process.
Colony teachers are busy—use answer keys to save you a few minutes here and there.
View more posts in the Colony Educators series.