Wednesday, October 29, 2008

bad test, good lesson

i gave a test this week that i thought would be really easy for them. i made the things they really knew well worth the most points but unfortunately, they either forgot it, or just forgot everything else. i'm not really sure how i would do this unit differently in the future but somehow i didn't prepare them well enough. i got 2 As out of almost 80 students. My top students all got in the 70s and 80s, and a couple even failed.

I was most upset with my CTT class, in which only 4 students passed, with the highest grade a 74. So yesterday I gave them a really fun lesson that covered a specific topic that the test was on. Usually this class is out of control, and it was hard to draw them in, but once I got their attention, everyone but one student was involved. I think every kid in the class was up to the board, even the ones that haven't done a drop of work all semester. At one point I had 10 students up at the same time and it worked great! My class was loud, but it was the most amazing lesson I had ever given. It was so much fun for us all, and when I gave them work to do on their own, they were all trying to outdo each other and go above and beyond my requirements.

Then I gave them homework to create their own examples and told them I'd give them 20 extra points on their test if they hand it in (this particular topic was worth 28 points on the test and they all bombed that part.) And if they made a super-duper example, I'd give them 30 points.

I didn't even have them today but 2 kids stopped by my classroom to drop off their homework early since they were so proud of what they'd done. one kid did 2 super-duper examples instead of the 2 regular ones I assigned. I told him to go home and do another one and he was excited! The other kid that came by is the biggest gangster in the school. He can barely even read or write, and hasn't done an ounce of work in anyone's class so far this year. It's the first homework assignment he's handed in since he started high school. He was so proud of his work, and he also did the super-duper example. He actually almost passed my test!

I'll see what kind of work I get tomorrow, but I might make a big poster with all of their super duper math examples and put it on my honor wall. The CTT kids would never get up their otherwise, and I'm so proud of them.

As for the other classes, I think I'm going to give them a second test for homework and average their two grades. I can't bear to see so many low grades. In the past when half of them failed, at least I had a good distribution. With this one, every student performed terribly! Oops...

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