Rather than dancing around the issue, I let my students get right down to business in this review! This unit has been so jam-packed with applications, investigations and activities that the students need some time to discuss everything that they have learned, as well as fill in any last minute gaps. This is the first year that I have given this particular end of unit assessment (in the past, I have used the problem applications as the final assessments – just “built them up” a little more). I am very curious to see how this works! I feel as though my students have a firm grasp of the concepts and can persevere to solve difficult problems, but the upcoming assessment will provide me with an indicator of how well these students we able to tie everything together.
I always prefer to tell me students exactly what to expect on the test. Unless the student has an IEP detailing appropriate accommodations, I tell my students that they will be required to complete the test in the 47 minutes of class time. I do this so that the students become accustomed to taking timed tests, which they will see VERY soon on the SAT/ACT. I am also sure to detail to the kids that IPAD’s and cell phones are not permissible calculators on the test. This is important to note because many students in my class use these devices to solve the previous problems that I have given them. Again, I emphasize this to my students NOT because I do not trust them, but rather because this is how it will look on a high stakes test.
I allow the students to work on the review sheet AND I also make a list of suggested problems on the board from our textbook. This allows me to direct students to specific types of problems if they need additional scaffolding. For example, if I find that a student is struggling with graphing a logarithmic function then I will offer support (or a “workshop” if multiple students are in need of support – see Strategies Folder) and then direct them to additional practice problems from the appropriate section of the textbook.
After calling for any final questions, I announce to the students that we will have our usual Test-Day Breakfast in my room tomorrow morning before school. Usually, I have students show up as early as 6:50 a.m. During this time I bring donuts and juice, and we work over any additional concepts that the students desire. I pull up old PowerPoint notes and hand out mini whiteboards as needed. It sets a great tone for the day. Because of the free donuts, the breakfast is always well attended!