Posts tagged assessments

14 results


Last week, my Algebra 1 students did not do well on their assessment on rates of change/slope and graphing linear functions. As I blogged last week, I had them complete a reflections and corrections form. They started in class Thursday and then had to hand them in on Friday. I have to say, I was disappointed with the effort they put in on both the reflection and in correcting their problems. We did a relay review on Friday and on Monday, after I had time to look at their reflections/corrections, I decided to give them another review worksheet. I did make sure this time to give them problems with times so that they could practice converting the times into seconds (even though that was the very first learning target we did this year). We did not have school Tuesday and their assessment was Wednesday. In one of my classes, they came in with more questions. I answered a couple before […]

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An Assessment Gone Wrong

I know I’ve been MIA as of late. Preparing lessons has been keeping me rather busy. I got hit pretty hard today. I thought I had been doing okay this year but then my Algebra 1 students took their assessment today on rate of change and graphing linear functions and as I graded them, it was obvious that they weren’t ready. I really thought they were – it appeared that the review preparations were being done and they were ready. But when proof came to paper, it was obvious they weren’t prepared. I spoke with Max at length today on the way home from school. Part of it was just venting – I was/am so frustrated. I felt like I had set up good practice structures (see this post) and that I had students do meaningful notes in their interactive notebook. I was pleased with the foldable I had the students use for their notes. But, my students didn’t prepare well […]

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Properties of Logarithms Question

In Algebra 2, we are working on logarithms right now. I am pretty much sticking with what I did last year – I was pleased with the results and the students have continued to respond well. Mathy McMatherson’s post on sharing assessments caught my attention as I was catching up on GReader posts. Since I am getting ready to assess properties of logarithms, I thought I’d share a question I am considering. As I was teaching today and we were discussing the change of base formula, I was thinking about how it tied in with the properties of logarithms we did the day before. Traditionally, some of the problems give the student the value of a logarithm they don’t know (like log_2_3) and ask the student to approximate, say, log_2_12. So here’s my thought: Question Version 1a) Write log_5_200 as a sum or difference of logarithms.b) If you are given that log_5_8 = 1.2920, use the expression you wrote in […]

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Second Thoughts on Assessment

First off, I do want to apologize for the lack of posts. I have to be honest, I am still very overwhelmed, although I am now at least planning 2 to 3 days ahead rather than just for tomorrow. I still don’t feel like I am in my groove yet. In Algebra 2, I am getting ready to give my second assessment. Like last year, I am assessing each learning target twice. However, I am counting the first assessment and if the student has earned their 5 on the first time, they do not have to do the second assessment. I have been having second thoughts about this after I gave their first assessment two weeks ago. I know why I had decided to do this. I wanted students to give a better first effort on the assessment and when I didn’t give a score on the first time, students tended to skip the problems. Also, this gives students their […]

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Assessment Questions

Something else I am going to be revisiting is how I’m doing assessments. For the first 19 years of my teaching career, I did unit tests, sometimes with quizzes in between. This year, I teach 2-3 Learning Targets and then quiz – the most recent Learning Targets for feedback, the preceding 2-3 Learning Targets for a grade. Right before Christmas Break, I revised the feedback problems to “feedback or 5” – if students could show me they knew it, they could earn their 5 and were exempt from the problems on the next quiz, otherwise, they got feedback. I have to be honest, I’m not happy with this system. I feel like I’ve lost instruction time. I spend more time than I’d like between reviewing and assessing. About a third of my students don’t try anything on the feedback problems. However, when I surveyed my students, they liked having less concepts on a test. I’m not sure what I’m going to […]

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No Answers, Just Questions

I gave my Algebra 2 students a quiz this week on multiplying polynomials and factoring. I didn’t put any feedback problems on it this time. We have been working on factoring for the last week to week and a half and it was time to see how well they knew it. We are getting ready to move to solving quadratic equations and I plan on giving students another opportunity to assess on factoring on the next quiz, but it was just plain time to give that assessment. Two weeks ago, I had given the assessment with feedback (details here) if you want the back story. I do have to say that the students did much better on multiplying polynomials than the first time around. I would have liked to see a few more 4s and 5s – but for the most part, students were where I had expected and hoped they would be. Factoring, well, I’m still not so sure […]

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Now What?

Yesterday I gave a quiz on properties of exponents and adding and subtracting polynomials (the graded learning targets on this quiz) as well as multiplying polynomials and factoring (GCF and x^2 + bx + c) for feedback. Although I am not done grading yet, let’s just say the results I have seen from the graded learning targets so far is less than spectacular. I have done the graded portion for 2 of my 3 classes and I think (without actually calculating them) the average on my 5 point scale was around 2.5. They still don’t have it. After teaching it before Christmas Break, quizzing for feedback before Christmas Break, doing 2 additional days of activities after Christmas Break, and giving them review problems before the quiz, they still don’t have it. I just don’t get it. Adding and subtracting polynomials is basically adding like terms. How can they get to this point in Algebra 2 and not be able to combine […]

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Assessment Survey

In response to my blog post yesterday about why I think students aren’t attempting feedback questions, misscalul8 asked, “Have you tried asking the students why they don’t try the feedback problems or ask them how they study?” To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of asking my students survey questions, especially not ones that may give them the chance to criticize me. I suppose that goes back to the little gnawing fear that they’ll all say I suck as a teacher as well as that I’m afraid that they won’t take it seriously. However, during my half hour drive into work, I thought to myself that maybe it would be a good idea to ask them. I suppose that I am getting more comfortable in my own skin as a person and as a teacher.I only surveyed my Advanced Algebra 2 students (17 students there today) – I figured they would take it the most seriously and thought that […]

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An answer to my quizzing dilemma?

Another round of quizzes, another blog post on how my students aren’t doing so well with my current system. But this time, I think I’m getting closer to a why. On the last day before Christmas Break, Cathy Hamilton spoke to us. A good part of what she talked with us about was the poverty mentality. The district I teach in has 52% of our students on free or reduced lunch. That number could potentially be higher since there may be families who don’t apply for free or reduced lunch (pride issues). The part that resonated the most with me was about how people who are in poverty are in “survival” mode. They are thinking about the present and getting through today. Future is not very prevalent in their thoughts. People in the middle class are future-focused. They talk to their children about what they’re going to be when they grow up, going to college, and other “future” things. People in […]

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Time to change?

Yes, it was another quiz day in Algebra 2 today. Yesterday, I had them work on review problems over all the learning targets (not just the ones being tested). Still had quite a few students not make much of an attempt on the feedback only problems. If you haven’t been following the saga – here is my last post and it has the previous ones linked to it in the second paragraph. So, as I was grading today, this was the thought I had: (For those of you seeing this for the first time, I teach, quiz 5-6 learning targets – 3 that were previously quizzed and students only got feedback, 3 that have not been previously quizzed and were the most recently taught and give feedback only.) Starting with the next quiz (which for my classes will be the last one before Christmas Break), I will still grade the older 2-3 learning targets. On the “newer” learning targets, if […]

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