My budding love of teaching, stemming from my larger love of math and learning

Friday, November 11, 2011

All or Nothing Quiz

A few weeks back I gave the students an opportunity to get 100% on a quiz. The catch...I was super picky on formulas, work and notation, and if they were not 100% correct, they got a 0% (which I never put in the book, but the students still freaked out). I called it an All or Nothing Quiz.

I have 4 Geometry classes and about 70 students in those sections. I gave the kids an incentive of a sweet treat if everyone in one section got 100% on the first try. I was sure one of the classes could do it. Boy was I wrong!!!

Only 8 students got 100% the first try and boy did I upset some kids.

The type of problems that I put on the quiz: Draw an angle of a specific measure; Measure an angle; distance formula; 2 multi-step, variable on both sides problem.

Students didn't get 100% for things like: not writing the distance formula (and a formula is an equation, NOT an expression!!!!), not labeling the angle correctly (including arrowheads on the rays), giving a positive answer when it should have been negative.

I got responses of the sorts: "you gave me a zero because I didn't write d =?", "Just because I didn't label the angle I have to do this again?", or "my negative is up here, just not on the answer!"

I kind of felt bad, but I wanted them to be aware of the little things that effect their grade. These are things that they normally loose points for, but very little in the scheme of their entire grade. But those little things will be really big things later on. And actually the writing the whole formula is huge because they don't know how to work backwards in equations...because they do not write the ENTIRE formula!

I felt bad until one of our book study sessions. We are reading two books, which is another whole post in itself. But I did get something from from the book that my group is reading: Driven By Data - A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction. There is a section called "Increasing Rigor Throughout the Lesson", and guess what? I AM DOING SOME OF THESE THINGS!!!! YAY!!!

From the document:
Model "Right is right": press to get the 100 percent correct answer.

I take this as, "I can do these all or nothing quizzes and the students hate them because they hold them accountable".

I still have 3 or 4 kids that haven't got a 100% yet, I am going to have to follow-up with them this coming week.

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