Reflection: Flexibility Unit 5: Systems of Equations, Two Day Exam - Section 2: Day 2: Multiple Choice

 

It made the most sense for me to give this exam on a Thursday this year, because tomorrow some of my classes will be interrupted by assemblies and school events.  Other classes will still meet, which provides a flexible day.  

Now, I made the multiple-choice part of the Unit 5 exam to be pretty difficult.  One of the advantages of standards-based grading is that I'm not unfairly hurting student grades by including really tough questions that will make it really tough to get 100% right (my strongest student got 32/34).  Instead, when I run an item-analysis, I can see which of the learning targets students have mastered, and I can sort questions into "important stuff" that I hope all students will be able to do, and "challenging stuff" that they'll have to grapple with -- which will provide valuable training for tough standardized exams that kids will take in the future.

But that's not what I sat down to reflect about here.  What I'd really like to share is what happens when I do provide a class with the option to have extra time.  With a few minutes left in today's class, I told a section of students that I'd give them more time tomorrow if they wrote a note saying, "Don't grade yet!" on the bottom of their answer sheets.  Doing so transfers power from me to my students.  What's more, they're grateful for it!  Look at how this student says "thank you" -- that's a big thing.

The other result is that after school today, another student stopped by for some extra help.  She looked at her test, and took some notes on what she had to study before taking more time tomorrow.  This is a struggling student taking ownership of her learning, and even though it would be possible to argue that she's "cheating" by looking at the test and going home to figure out some answers, what is more important to me is that she's learning the content.  Taking a test actually provides students with one of their best opportunities to learn.  So what's more important: saying "gotcha!" or extending that opportunity?

  Flexibility: If you're learning from it, then it's not cheating...
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Unit 5: Systems of Equations, Two Day Exam

Unit 9: Systems of Equations
Lesson 20 of 20

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate what they know about solving problems with systems of equations.

Big Idea: Open-ended problem solving comes BEFORE multiple-choice! (Because, what's more important?)

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Subject(s):
Math, Algebra, Systems of Equations and Inequalities, assessment, assessment design, systems of linear equations
  86 minutes
u5 problem solving exam ver2
 
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