Rethinking Assessments

Standard

After my first assessment, I cut and pasted 8 problems that were missed most or even left blank and copied.  The following day, students worked in groups to complete those problems.

The conversations were great.  I attempted to ask questions of each group member to ensure they understood their peers thinking. 

As a whole class, we discussed why several had left certain problems blank. No attempt. At.All. 
It looked hard.
Too many words.
I was confused.
It didn’t make sense.

But after working on them in small groups, several shared how most were really very doable.  or at least the way ____ explained their thinking, ot made sense.  And how likely they will be to at least give effort on those “hard” problems next to me.

My issue was, when I asked them to complete a wrong answer analysis, only about half put effort into it. Some turned in nearly blank pages. Some turned in nothing at all.  An opportunity to learn/redo and nothing.  Yet when progress reports came out, they were upset to see they had only mastered 20% of the concepts.

They were upset that I wouldn’t give them points for just redoing and I was unfair because I didn’t let the entire class redo during class time.  They wanted me to assess their work (again) they had not even practiced/studied.

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My next attempt, was a group quiz – sort of modified from convo with @druinok and a post from @fnoschese and this article.   A couple of days prior to unit assessment, I gave them an overview of problems from the learni ng targets for the unit, it was an opportunity to discuss, look in their INBs, even asked questions of me.  It was quick to grade using this method Agree / disagree post-its

Somewhat better results.  But still, pushback on the redo’s.  A student was mad and asked how I expected them to remember what they had done /didn’t do on a test from the previous week.  Yes, given on a Wednesday, absent make-ups the following day, an assembly, the weekend and I passed them back on Monday. 

Round 3: Given on Friday. Stayed after school and marked each one.  Compiling My Favorite No on 4 Qs for whole – class discussion.  A mix of Qs missed most often for a quick group quiz, using the agree/disagree post-its again.  This will address majority of analysis I need from most of them, then assign remainder as HW. Final version of unit assessment following day.

I am interested to see what happens.

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5 responses »

  1. I…. LOVE….what you did with the most commonly missed questions after your first assessment. I struggle all the time with how to go back and re-teach without “losing time”. Thank you so much for the suggestion!

  2. With reports cards coming out this week, this was me allllllllll last week.
    Can you imagine?? I had a young lady come into my room on Friday, at 2:30, (we get out at 245) during homecoming festivities, telling me she came in to change her D into a C!!!!! Fifteen minutes to increase your grade a whole letter grade??? Yeah…that’s what I thought.
    Thanks for writing about something I feel every week!!

  3. I think students don’t realize where grades come from, ie we teachers somehow parcel them out in an arbitrary manner. I do not give additional credit without sufficient “error analysis” on the student’s part. I am also a fan of group re-working. Seeing how different people got answers generates lively discussion about the “right” way to do something. I think they are relieved to find that there is usually more than one way. Now they just need to persevere and FIND it!

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