Tuesday, 17 November 2015

MPM2D - Day 47: Test (Day 2)

Nothing too much to report today except that even after teaching this course every year since its inception in 2000, I continue to learn. I am getting better at making notes to my future self about how to improve test questions. Better questions is a focus of mine this year; one that I haven't focused on enough so far. It's important to take a few minutes after correcting tests to evaluate the questions that were asked and think about whether they truly drew out students' understanding. So often when we finish marking a set of tests the relief of the job being done is all that we care about. However, it's when you are right there, in that moment of seeing your students' thinking, that you need to reflect on what small tweak or large change you could make to push them further or to allow them to better show what they know.

On a completely different note, I am glad to report that many of my students realize that it's okay to ask a question during a test. I know this is frowned upon by some, but if they don't understand the question, then I'm not going to get anything good from them. Lots of my students struggled with the same question today. If they couldn't draw the diagram correctly, they were stuck. My mini Golden Gate Bridge helped tremendously!

I also had several students ask for help when they were stuck. Some questions were as simple as "I don't remember what standard form looks like.", while others didn't know how to begin a section of the test. As I have done for a few years with my applied classes, I write what I tell them in orange or pink pen so that I can take it into consideration when I mark their paper. I worry about the inequity toward those who don't say anything and I don't notice until it is too late. But that is just something else I need to work on.

Oh - and another little plug for spiraling... Part of an email from one of my MPM2D parents: "*** is amazing us with her math study discipline!   You seem to have turned her mind to math!   ‎Way to go! ".

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