How do you write high school syllabi?

The beginning of every semester finds me in a quandry: how detailed should my syllabi be? How detailed are your syllabi?

Here’s the geometry syllabus I just finished.

The syllabus is way more detailed than any I’ve ever written. What drove the uber-detailed syllabus? One of my weaknesses has always been long-range planning, so I’m taking the opportunity to plan the entire semester at once with this class. I’ve chosen home study assignments, created a portfolio project that spans the semester, and scheduled assessments.

Syllabus highlights:

  • Assessments on average every other week (8 total)
  • Semester-long portfolio project to be turned in at exam time (counts as an additional assessment)
  • Weekly home study assignments (approx. 10 problems per week)

The possible benefits include time saved planning during the semester and students will know what’s coming along. I think the risk is that the course might move along too rigidly to allow for student differences or truly experiential learning.

I want to see your syllabi! What do you like about your syllabi? What do you wish you could change?

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