Scott Kubista-Hovis, a seventh grade science teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia, read about TBL three years ago and “fell in love right away.”
He contacted TBL developer Larry Michaelsen, who sent him scratch-off answer sheets to try out. “My students adore them!” he says.
Hovis uses groups of four, changing them twice a year. Students must explain all peer evaluations, not just their top and bottom scores, and the evaluation can be appealed. A few times, Hovis has changed low evaluations because he felt they were due to personality conflicts. Peer evaluations count for five percent of a student’s grade.
Hovis uses questions from the Virginia state test for his pre-test. For each unit, he goes over the concepts one day and gives the iRAT the next. After the gRAT, if students are still not getting it, he re-teaches. Then the teams apply the concepts to a real-world problem.
TBL, says Hovis, “allows me to front-load a lot of information and we can move on from there.”
Ask him your own questions by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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