It's Christmas Break!
I'm pretty certain I will not get 12 blog posts done for #MTBoSYuleBlog, but I do have a couple of things I want to reflect on while I have a few days to reflect.
This particular post has been simmering in my brain for a while, but I haven't had time to compose it.
As I have blogged about many times before, I'm a big believer in students having the ability to improve their understanding of a concept, demonstrate that to me, and then earn points back on a test grade.
Several years ago I implemented a broad retake and redo policy. It was a great policy, but there were aspects of it that were challenging to manage.
In the last couple of years, I have done test corrections. Test corrections are a little easier to manage than the full-scale retakes, but there are things about them I don't like.
1) They are a PAIN to grade. I'd rather grade a full set of original tests than a small number of corrected tests.
2) It is hard to get students to correct tests in a way that demonstrates to me that they really understand the concept and why they missed it the first time. "Write a sentence explaining your mistake" often gives shallow answers. "New" work can be copied from someone or somewhere else with no real understanding.
This year I came up with a different way, and I like it better.
Students who wish to make corrections to a test must come before school (I facilitate the school's Homework Help each morning) or stay after school. They make corrections, and I am there to assist if and when they need me.
I get to be there with the students while they work, so I know what they are doing and how they are doing it. I can reteach and re-explain. I can see and hear and then correct misconceptions. I get to KNOW why students missed something the first time.
The best part of this method of test corrections? When students leave my room, their test corrections are graded! I know they got the problems they reworked correct, and all I have to do is refigure their points.
There's been just a little bit of push-back on the requirement to come to see me before or after school, but the ones who have complained mostly don't want to make the effort to do so.
And I'm OK with the opportunity to make test corrections requiring a little bit of effort.