Today is the first lesson of the four-day preparation for our mid-term exam review. I have decided to start off the preparation with something that students have been asking for all year - extra credit. It will be in the format of an extra credit quiz where students can earn a few extra credit points based on what they know. I don't tell them specifically what concepts are on it - I say that it can include anything we studied this semester. There are a few reasons why I like to start our review this way.
1. If you have been true to the nature of the Common Core, it has been a very challenging semester for your students. There is nothing wrong with rewarding your students for all of their hard work. However, they are earning this extra credit – you are not just giving it out for free.
2. Because students love extra credit more than anything, they will be extra focused, will give their best effort on this quiz, and may even work harder than they have on anything this semester - that is the magic of extra credit. The upside for you is that you will get an accurate picture of what they know well from the semester and what they still need a little guidance on.
3. Students will get awesome feedback on what they still need to work on. Let’s say a student got all of the trigonometry questions wrong; that will narrow down what they need to work on before the exam. Studying for an exam that covers an entire semester can be daunting. This is a great strategy to get them focused on what they need to work on.
Here are some sample questions that you can include on your quiz. In the video below I talk about some ways to collect good data and customize the quiz to fit your specific needs.
Here is the review packet that I give my students to prepare them for the midterm exam. It is split up into three parts and includes a list of topics on the first page. I try to stick to give a general overview of all topics that we covered over the course of the semester.
I choose to give students the whole packet at once, but we will only go through each part one at a time. For example, I may tell students that they must get through part 1 for tomorrow, but they have the other parts if they want to work ahead.