Why my rubrics don't add up to 100

So I have been thinking about doing this for a few years now and BAM
this year is the year I decided to do it.

It all started with our READING LOG…
I only require my kiddos to read 20 minutes a night…
and that is Monday - Thursday so if I added all that up…
it would equal an 80…..
SO I decided to add that the highest grade you can earn is 105
if you do the bare minimum you get an 80… go above and beyond and you can get up to 105
It has really worked out well and it is quite EYE OPENING to see which kiddos
DO NOT go that extra minute or two to earn a higher grade.
If you truly TRULY think about it… it ONLY requires them to read an extra 5
YEP FIVE minutes a night to earn the 100!!!
some seem to be totally OK with the 80…
while others not so much and are always getting the 105
some even read up to 200 minutes
WOW!!!

I even tried it with one of our projects.
I made it very clear the rubric only added up to 80...
and going above and beyond would be the only way to score above an 80.
I also made it clear... they had to think OFF the rubric.
For example... a title was needed to get 5 points...
I did not give extra points if they had a light up title with glitter... that isn't going off the rubric.
The rubric didn't state "to get 5 points you need to have a WOW factor"
it said... 5 points for a neat and correctly spelled title
if little kid A wrote his title on his box in pencil and it was neat and spelled correctly he got 5 points...
just like little lady B with lights and glitter.

You are probably thinking WOW that's harsh...
BUT IS IT????

little kid A doesn't get help from home bc his mom and grandma work 2 jobs each and his older siblings take care of home stuff
... his family is on free and reduced lunch and they live pay check to pay check...
I am not about to compare his project to little lady B
who comes from a totally different home environment.
Her mamma could have her own crafting channel... heck so could little lady B...
this family enjoys at home projects and puts education as a priority...
these two little kiddos have different home environments as do ALL of my kiddos...


In the past I would send home a rubric that aded up to 100 and give bonus points for "WOW"
but what was I giving "WOW" points for... glitter, lights, the cool things....
I know I did give points for amazing presentations
BUT that is where it stopped... really since I was telling them how to get 100
all the projects kinda looked the same...
I could totally tell you before the rubric was handed out which kiddo would get the 100 plus WOW
based on home life...
I was giving WOW points for looks and not content
soooooooo
I started thinking... year after year... and project after project...  what can I do to spice this up...
change this up...
instead of me telling them here is your 100... let them decide how to earn those extra points...

and after reading a book by Ron Clark I was like YEP
make my rubrics worth 80...
the kids at first were not happy...
they were like... WTH really
kids these days are use to getting the here's your 100 rubrics... it doesn't really require them to THINK

wow imagine that...
so I began to tell them... you have to THINK off the rubric...
you can do the rubric to the best of your ability BUT that only gets you a 80
BUT if you think off the rubric... that will get your WOW points

this was a hard concept for the kids and parents too...
my hope for this was that each kids' personality would shine


some kids' projects tried the whole glitter and lights to the title thing
BUT that wasn't off the rubric...
a title spelled correctly and neatly was on the rubric...
so little kid a and little lady b scored the same points

also on the rubric was to create a map showing the location of their indian tribe...
and it had to include a key and compass
little kid a - drew his own map of Texas (kinda wonky but still Texas like) on the side of the box...
it was hard to see it through the giant Nike Swoosh, but everything required on the map was drawn in brown colored pencil...
he even put a spiderman sticker where his tribe was located
and then he showed the migration pattern of his tribe with glued on string
labeled his map as winter grounds and summer grounds and then had pictures of the animals that were hunted in both winter and summer homes around his Texas drawing... he had a correct key (with a spiderman) and a nice compass
little lady b had a beautiful map of Texas that was printed or purchased...
It was a beautiful map and it was displayed perfectly on top of her box with a piece of foam board...
everything requiring a label was done with sticker letters and
 it had a pin where her tribe was located... her compass rose was done beautifully in puffy glitter glue...
and her key was color coded with metallic paint
it was stunning...

which kid got bonus points???
little kid a- he went off the rubric he had migration patterns and pictures of the animals hunted
little lady b - did what the rubric asked for


another requirement was they had to make the dwelling in a diorama with examples of their food, transportation, and clothing
little lady b -  wowzers... looked like the best teepee diorama ever...
looked like real animal skin teepee, had a little fake candle thingy to represent the campfire, the clothes were hung on a line as if they were drying and over the fake flame was a sculpted out of clay carcass to represent the food
she also had a fake plastic horse to represent transportation.... did she go off the rubric??? no
did it look amazing.....YES

little boy a... used writing paper for all of his things... so everything had blue stripes
he divided his box in two with tinfoil
and on one side had the winter home... again made out of writing paper that he had colored
and on the other side he had the summer home
both sides had writing paper animals that were taped to the back to represent the animals they hunted and
he had a travois made out of toothpicks... he also had his tribe members clothed appropriately for each season... again done with striped paper but colored with crayons or colored pencils
sounds like he stayed in the rubric too right...
NOPE... he added labels for everything... and put the months when they would stay at each home.
his project wasn't as pretty and neat as hers BUT his was off the rubric


when I was doing projects and grades the old way...
I realized I was giving bonus points to those that had the means...
they had parents at home that would help them
those parents probably had extra money to make it shine and sparkle
they could purchase the extras


BUT

was that fair to my kiddos who do not get that type of support at home?
my low income families do not have the means to purchase glitter, stickers, maps, and other crafting supplies....

by requiring the above and beyond OFF THE RUBRIC points...
my kids are on an even playing field...
everyone has to think off the rubric...

even though little lady b's project could put Martha Stewart to shame...
she scored an 80

and even though little boy a's box looked like he scrounged all his supplies off my floor at the end of the day (which he did) he scored a 97... his project might not be a cover story picture on a projects magazine BUT he went off the rubric and went above and beyond

soooo
I will leave you with this...
are you giving bonus points for glitter and glam?
is that fair to all of your kiddos?

let's be sure we aren't giving extra points for flash and flair...
and we are giving extra point for going off the rubric and doing more than expected
it shouldn't be about looks it should be about content...

I am interested in what you might have to say about this...
type your ideas or comments down below...



Farley Reviews The James Dyson Foundation Ideas Box

WOW-ZA
I haven't blogged in forever… so you know this has to be good!!!
I was contacted by DYSON…
yes the DYSON… ya know the people that make the most incredible vacuums!!!
They really SUCK!!! *wink*
well after getting over that shock and calling my mom to brag
and then my husband
yes in that order because
mom gets super girly excited with me
and hubs is like…. oh cool
so after getting over the initial shock that THE DYSON PEOPLE contacted me!!!
me… little ole Farley…
I quickly agreed to try out one of their Ideas Box
and just an FYI…

I have been given compensation for this review…
however the amazing Ideas Box that I get to keep
along with the DYSON Air Multiplier Fan
has not swayed me in my opinion!!!
this BOX rocks



A little background on this Ideas Box
it is brought to us from the James Dyson Foundation
they are "dedicated to encouraging young people to think differently, make mistakes, invent and realize their engineering potential."

The Ideas Box is loaned to a classroom for 4 weeks and is completely free.
Did you hear read that… FREE!!!
It is better suited for 4th-6th grade BUT can be adapted for any grade.
It comes delivered in a giant box and contains EVERYTHING you need to challenge your kiddos to improve everyday objects.

The Ideas Box comes with a Teacher's Guide, CD, and posters… OH and let's NOT forget
the FAN…DYSON AIR MULTIPLIER…
this fan is the catalyst to the box…
it is what gets the kids thinking
they are completely in awe of the fan and its bladeless technology.

If you want to do what I did… I placed the fan out a few days before the activity began
behind my desk
out of their reach
and let them just simmer in their curiosity!!!
genius I tell ya!!!
their questioning was hilarious and higher order…
this is why STEM activities are so important in the classroom.

When I started the activities…
I followed the Teacher's Guide… which is super easy to follow
we worked our way through each of the main sections using the CD and the posters
to give us support in our understanding and thinking
There are 5 sections...
1- What is a design engineer?
      * here you are introduced to DYSON himself in a very cool video on the provided CD
2- Design Detectives
      * here the kids are shown (on the cd) the developing of the Air Multiplier… they loved this part
3- Design
     * here is where their little brains go into action…
        - I split the kids into groups of 2 - 4 and this is where they got to sketch out their new ideas for
          ordinary objects

4- BUILD
     * we took full advantage of our CARDBOARD CHALLENGE DAY to build our prototypes
         - we asked for donations of cardboard and all sorts of tape a few weeks in advance and we had
            plenty… I wanted to make sure their imaginations were not limited by lack of supplies
 and now the finished products...








5 - Test and Evaluate
      * many of our inventors went above and beyond in their inventions…
         as you saw above…. so this needed to be adapted
         and we discussed what the next step would be to get to the final step… one kiddo reminded us
         that Mr. Dyson had over 1,000 attempts at perfecting his fan…touché kid touché

I could not be a luckier teacher to have been given this opportunity!!!
The Ideas Box was so inspiring to my students and was such an unforgettable experience…
they were able to SHOWCASE their inventions to the younger grades and were able to explain how their new take on the ordinary was better… it was MAGICAL!!!  It just proves that STEM is an important part of education.  The smiles on their faces as they explained their new inventions, and the COOLS and OOHs and AWWWWS from the little kids made their day!!!

Now I know you are wanting to try this box in your own classroom…
and you are thinking
COME ON FARLEY give my the link already…
OK OK…
so here it goes…
if you want to try the Ideas Box out in your class… for FREE… for 4 weeks…..
all you have to do is visit….
http://www.jamesdysonfoundation.com/resources/ideas-box/

 Thanks again to The James Dyson Foundation for contacting me!!!
I am so grateful my kiddos were given this opportunity… and not to mention our HOT Texas classroom totally LOVES the Air Multiplier!!!

The Final Currently… May 2016

Hey Hey Hey it is May!!!

This May holds a lot of big changes for me...
I am turning the BIG 4-OH on the 8th
and I am NOT
I repeat NOT taking it well…
NOT AT ALL
for 30 Hubs threw me a FAB party
and it was a blast
for 40 I want to crawl into my bed and stay there
BUT it falls on Mother's Day so I have to actually get up!!!
I am also making a big change with my blog…
I feel like it is time…


let me add to the TRUTH
I have been hosting the CURRENTLY Linky Party for years
and because of it…
I have gained
friends
confidence
and loyal followers…
I cannot thank all of you enough for coming every month
and linking up with me…
it has been a true blessing to have all of you come on over and join the CURRENTLY PARTY
and in the name of TRUTH…
in my heart I just feel like it is time to retire the CURRENTLY Linky
I have thought
and contemplated
and discussed with friends
and thought some more
for months now and finally decided that MAY 2016
would be the last one!!!
thanks again for being my bloggy buddies and reading the links and following the RULE of THREE
and thanks for leaving comments
of encouragement
or compliments
or a simple thank you
this linky party has blessed my life in more ways than I had ever imagined
and for the most part I have you guys to thank for that!!!

and with that said...
I hope you understand and will join me for the final PARTAY!!!

for truth…
write something you need to come clean with…
maybe you haven't done lesson plans the last few weeks
or maybe your WHOLE 30 lasted all but 3 days
or maybe your new neighbors are WHACK and leave cray notes on your car
(all of those are more of my truths)





April 16 Currently

April is that you???
why yes it is…
I LOVE April!!!
not so much the first day of April
but all the rest… yes!!!

this month's Currently… is sponsored by






 now it is your turn






currently march 2016

Can you believe it is already March…
seems like just the other day it was February… ha ha ha
You know what the first of the month means…
that is right CURRENTLY… 
this month's sponsor is…

thanks so much for sponsoring this month


 3 things about this currently…
ONE…
why does it seem like I am always running out of glue sticks and dry erase markers…
it is a daily struggle… for reals
TWO…
our state writing test is slipping up on me… and this year has been a little bit more difficult than my other years…they write like they are texting…
only a few are capitalizing I… WHAT???
so for the next few weeks I will be hammering basic writing knowledge
again
and we will be writing and writing until our little hands can write no more…
THREE…
who is the wise guy who thought schools would be a great polling site…
it was probably decided way back when
when schools were not targets for the deranged loonies of the world
BUT these days we have to do intruder drills
and practice staying quiet and hiding in case some idiot comes in our school
we even teach our kids to alert us if a stranger is in the halls…
at my school all visitors must check in at the office and have their license scanned and then they are cleared by some system we have and they get a visitors pass sticker… those stickers alert the kids that they are a cleared adult and are allowed in our school...
BUT on voting days…
all that goes out the window…
the voters just walk in the front door
don't check in with the office…
our hall is filled with strangers…
we take alternative routes everywhere to not interact with the voters… BUT still
THEY ARE STRANGERS!!!
I should not have to have a talk with Bubs about stranger danger on voting day…
yes I know this convo is necessary and I have talked to him about it many times…
but I had to have a SPECIAL one this morning… because… well my little one likes to go potty a lot…
I am sure when he leaves for 6th grade… he is only in 1st... there will be a stall named after him in his honor…
for reals…
so today I told him… do not go to the bathroom… and if you absolutely have to go… go with a buddy… and if you go into the bathroom and an adult is in there get out FAST and tell your teacher…

I was on pins and needles all day about having voting in our school… more so because my little guy is there now… and I must say when the nurse came down to tell me he had fever and had to go home… I was somewhat relieved…
SERIOUSLY
schools should not be polling sites
not in today's world

I asked this polling question on my IG and I had several comments…
go check it out at farleyfarleyfarley
and now here is your currently


on polling site…
let me know if your school is a polling site…
do you have regular classes
do you have PD
are you closed
how do you feel about this???