It's the last week of classes, and we'll revisit each of the lesson structures that I've put in place over the last few weeks. There will more student-directed work time happening in the classroom, there will be another group problem session, and today we'll meet in the computer lab for the last time, where students will see how far they can go on some mixed review problems.
The board looks like this as students arrive. Before getting started on the day's work, I ask students to complete an end-of-class reflection on their year of Algebra 1. Here's a link to the Google Form that I give to students. I like how technology makes it easy to use a survey like this. Rather than having a stack of papers that take up space, this yields a spreadsheet that I can access from anywhere and revisit any time.
I keep the questions simple, open-ended, and I try to balance the tone:
I make it optional for kids to give their name. Some take it seriously, and some don't - but I think that's how it should be.
In the spirit of full disclosure, here is that spreadsheet of student responses I've received. I went back and forth about sharing it here. There are things I'm proud of and things I'm humiliated by on here, and I although I feel uncomfortable making it public, I hope that it's useful.
Everything you see has context for individual classes and students. After starting a reflection on this a few times I've realized that it's hopeless to say anything concise and useful about it. I'd have to write for days to get all my thoughts down - and isn't that's what summers are for? As I prepare for next year, I can refer back to this throughout the summer. I can think about the kinds of success I hope to cultivate more often, and think about what I hope to avoid. Someday I'll go a whole year without losing my temper, for example. Even if just a few kids say I yell too much, then I do!
I'd love to hear about your favorite ideas for exit surveys and end-of-year reflections, so feel free to share here.
Following the reflection, students have the rest of the class to work on a mixed review assignment on Delta Math called "This Is How You Study". Check out this narrative video to see how it earned its name and what the assignment looks like.
By now, students are well acquainted with Delta Math, and more specifically with its end-of-year purpose as a review tool. They are excited to get a final round of practice.
I've shared this list of the algebra topic modules that made up the assignment this year, but it's flexible and based on what I know students need. If you use this activity, think about what you've seen your students do over the last few days, and decide what you'd like them to make sure to be able to do as the year closes out.
I make sure that every has started a cheat sheet, or at least has an idea for one. At the end of class, I remind students that this assignment - as well as the practice assignments from a few weeks back - will remain available as study tools. "So if you find that this is good practice today," I conclude, "imagine how strong you'll get if you can spend 30 minutes doing this each day."
This year, about 15% of my students made regular use of this tool outside of class. As I sit here considering goals for next year, I'll think about ways to engage more students with online tools outside of class.