Yesterday, students in my second grade class took a unit assessment on fractions. Generally after the assessment students review their results and reflect on progress made. I graded the tests last night and the scores were across the board, as some did extremely well while others floundered. The point values were placed on the top of each test to be reviewed by the students and parents. I don’t put a grade on the test, but instead add bits of feedback for questions missed. I’ve used similar strategies with homework for the past few years. No one had a perfect score, but I definitely wanted the students to check their results before we move on to the geometry unit. I think reflecting on achievement can lead to personal goal setting.
There are many ways in which I could facilitate the reflection process. The class could review the test together, question by question. Students could ask questions to determine misunderstandings. Or I could have the students work in partners to review questions missed. Or possibly even have the students fill out a reflection sheet. I feel like these strategies provide value, but the results vary and aren’t individualized, except for the reflection sheet. All of the strategies tend to be missing a student ownership/accountability piece.
Regardless of the grade/score I want students to be able to focus on the learning, not necessarily the grade. This is a focus in all my classes. This emphasis as well as participating in #sblchat has led me to embrace more standards-based grading strategies. Even at the second grade level I feel that it’s valuable to set a growth-mindset tone. I’m becoming more comfortable in using standards-based strategies in the classroom and am starting to see the benefits as the school year continues.
Instead of using a strategy that I’ve used before, I decided to try something different. I spent about 10 minutes reteaching misconceptions that I found while grading. Some of the major themes were retaught in this mini lesson. I then gave all the students an opportunity to retake the test questions that were missed. I gave students a blank test and highlighted specific questions that were missed. I met with students as they finished their retake. The student and I reviewed the assessment results and the retake opportunity. Students were given about 3-5 minutes to meet with me to review the retake. I’d like to spend more time with each student but time was definitely a constraint. I feel like the conferences were helpful as I was able to confer with students about their thinking, retake and test. I added any second attempt points to the original total.
Even though this was a time-consuming activity I feel like it was time well spent. I even had a few students ask if we we’re going to do this after every assessment. I’m not sure about that, but I may use this strategy again in the future.