Unit Assessment: Polynomials

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SWBAT demonstrate mastery of unit learning objectives.

Big Idea

Students complete a unit assessment aligned to unit standards - provides excellent data source for teacher's to adjust and refine their curriculum and instruction!

Unit Test Polynomials

45 minutes

During the Unit Test: Algebra I Polynomials, students complete multiple choice items developed to align with Common Core standards of the unit. Each problem has the standard next to it, to allow for easy cross-referencing and use by teachers. I typically include an open response section to unit tests but did not for this unit because it only addressed two common core standards and the unit is relatively short compared to other units in the course.

I grade the multiple choice items with an overall grade as well as a grade by standard. For example, students will see the percentage of items on standard A.SSE.2 they get correct. 

For some tests I also like to add items from the Massachusetts Common Assessment System (MCAS) archive. The website for the MCAS question search tool is http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/search/.

I like this tool because you can search based on standard (note that all MCAS questions as of the 2012-2013 school year are still using the previous MA standards, not the common core), by question type and other characteristics. 

Note: This unit assessment was developed in collaboration with Patrick Borzi, a fabulous Math teacher and colleague. 

Reteaching and Restesting

45 minutes

After students complete the unit test, I grade them using a computerized system (but they can just as easily be graded and recorded in an excel spreadsheet). 

The next class I review the class averages with students (nice entry point to talk about measure of center and spread, as an aside).

I also reteach any standards that the class as a whole had difficulty with (typically I look for standards that the class average is below 70% as a general guideline but this can vary from test to test). 

The policy for re-testing I have is as follows: I give any student the chance to take the Retake Algebra I Polynomials Unit Test as long as they meet with me and make a study plan on how they are going to learn the material which I sign off on (which most definitely can, and usually does, include after school support, which we call Dayback at my high school).

I replace the test score if the retake is higher than the original, and usually set a ceiling of 80 or 85% for the retake. The reason for this policy is I want to give students credit for learning the material and showing they understand the material, regardless of whether or not it was the first or second time around on the test. In addition I want to value those students who did put the work in the first time (perhaps by staying for extra help before the test) around and did well on the first test. In general students feel this policy is fair and it has helped with student engagement and motivation around testing and assessment.