Another day, another grade.

I just finished grading a quiz from my Pre-Algebra students. I was hopeful when they were taking it that they were doing well. I let them use their notes for this (I did not tell them this ahead of time). And, to my surprise, those that had taken notes, were using them very effectively! They were asking good, clarifying questions, and I could point to examples, etc in their notes to help them. Students were working hard, and very few gave up. Woo hoo!

So the result is about half of them got B’s and A’s and the other half, F’s. No middle ground. There could be a million reasons for this. Maybe I graded it strangely. Many some questions were worth too many points, and others not enough. Maybe some students take terrible notes, or none at all and have not learned as much as I thought they did. Maybe it wasn’t the math, but the reading on the test that gave them trouble. Maybe this, maybe that. Maybe I don’t have as good a read on them as I thought. I could go on forever.

But I need to focus on what to do. What do I do with this information? I always allow corrections to be made, because I want the students to learn. But I get the feeling that half of them can’t make corrections because they don’t know what went wrong. So, maybe we’ll do them together, and then take a retake.

I’d also like to do some sort of student reflection and hear from them. I’ve tried to do this in the past and it never really gives my the info I want. I need some help with what questions to ask them.

This definitely changes how I approach the next unit. I need to be more in tune with my students, without giving quiz after quiz after quiz. I need to give them more opportunities to show me what they know. To show me how they’re doing. This isn’t a very inspirational post, or very helpful to anyone but me. Just doing a little reflecting on my own to get my thoughts in order. Thanks for listening, internet world.

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2 thoughts on “Another day, another grade.

  1. I’m definitely glad I have met you through the #alg1chat and #MTBoS in general, because you seem to be going through many of the same things I am. I share you frustration with giving a test with such a wide range of grades, but also I don’t want to lose valuable teaching time to quizzing constantly. I need to find different ways for them to show what they know to me as well.

    • Strength in numbers! I love talking to other teachers in my situation. I’m the only 8th grade math teacher at my school, so I don’t have a lot of people to bounce ideas off.
      I used to do Exit Slips almost daily. But I would never remember to leave enough time so they would be rushed and not accurate reflections of skills or needs. So, I’m thinking of doing something like that again, but on a less than daily basis, with adequate time given. More of a non-quiz. I’ve given those before too with this explanation “If you were taking a quiz today, this is how you would do.” But you’re right, you don’t want to quiz too much. We want to just teach them stuff!

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