Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quizzing to Promote Mastery

Its been a long time since the last post.  I have been pretty busy lately, even more than usual.  From coaching junior high and high school math league to coaching the inaugural year of our junior high robotics league to presenting at various conferences, it has been a crazy winter so far.  I thought I would try to get a quick post out while I have a moment.

In 8th grade we have been studying solving equaitons and inequalities that past 2-3 weeks.  The students took a paper/pencil quiz on equations in December.  So I tried a different way to quiz last week.  I got the foundation of this idea from a book, don't remember which one, I will try to find that title later.

The basic gist is that students answer 1 question at a time on their own.  We switch, correct that problem in class and go over how to do it.  Then we try another question (or set of questions) and repeat.  We do this over and over again so students can be remediated during their quiz.  I like the idea of this "quiz to mastery."

I took this to the next level by adding my differentiated rubric to the idea.  It went like this, the first round of the quiz everyone tried to solve 1 Level 2 question.  (leveled grading blog) When people were done we switched and corrected that question.  If the student got it right they earned at least a score of a 2 on that quiz.  If they got it wrong they got some help about their mistakes.  When we were ready (about 3-5 minutes later) round 2 began.

Round 2 now had two questions on the board.  The slide had two questions on it:   level 2 question that was similar in difficulty to the first question, as well as a level 3 question for those who got the first one question correct.  After about 3-5 minutes we switched and corrected those two questions.  We again spent some time helping each other out and figuring out mistakes.

Round 3 had three questions on the board: Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4.  We continued this way until the end of class.  We got in about 5 rounds of this style quiz.  The score the student earned on the quiz was the highest level of question they got correct.

Overall the students seemed to like this style quiz.  There were some who did not like it.  The biggest reasons seemed to be that it was different or they did not ge the score they wanted.  This type of quiz works particularly well for skills like solving equations.  I may use it again for solving inequalities, I will probably leave that choice up to the students.

Here is my google slide presentation for giving this quiz to mastery.