Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Fix for Quiz Corrections?

I detest quiz corrections. They're messy, I have to grade things more than once, and the kids often just copy their neighbor's correct answer without actually rethinking the work.

So when I had a student ask last week if he could do quiz corrections for a recent quiz, my instinct was to say no.

But then I fought with myself (not literally, you know). Isn't the goal to get the kids to learn the stuff? Is there a way to do quiz corrections so that they actually recognize their mistakes and go through the process to fix them?

I ended up creating this chart that I'm hoping will help in more ways than one.

My hopes:
1. It'll force the kids to show their work in a place where I can actually find it.
2. It asks "what did you do wrong?" so that they can inspect their work and think through it.
3. It'll keep the kids from just copying their neighbor's answer without actually doing some work.

I also gave a specific due date for the corrections so they're not floating in at any time. When I have RPoC (random piles of crap) I tend to put off grading it and it tortures me.

My first round is due on Friday, so the jury is still out.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

I know the problem... now someone solve it for me.

On a day-by-day basis I'm impressed with how much my students can do.

Solve a quadratic equation?  No problem.
Simplify this cube root? Got it.
Find the asymptotes and graph this rational function?  Piece of cake (mostly).

 Just this week in Math 3 we're working with radicals; simplifying, adding, subtracting, rationalizing, etc. When we concentrate on one task they're golden.  But once I expect them to actually remember skills from previous days (weeks, months, courses) I'm out of luck.

Rationalizing denominators is tough when you can't remember how to multiply radicals.  I actually mentioned this to the kids today and got several head-nods. "You guys are good with the idea of rationalizing a denominator. But when it comes to remembering how to multiply and simplify after setting up the rationalizing and that's where we struggle."

I've fought this all year with my Math 1 kids. Their retention skills are so lacking. On any given day I could teach a new skill to the class and I'd say a good 75% of the kids could understand and do it. If they chose to (another issue). But the next day it's a toss up to who knows what.

Is it me? I try and teach for understanding, hoping that something will click (instead of just memorizing a formula).   I've chosen to decrease the amount of problems I give each night; typically assignments are 5 - 6 problems. Would assigning more help?

In both of these classes I've started giving weekly review problems this semester. Next year I intend to start that from day 1.