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.