Wednesday - October 8, 1997
I gave the retest in Algebra I today. The rules were as follows: They
were allowed to use their book and they could not talk to anybody else
(if they did, they were to receive an automatic zero). Also, if they
were to finish their corrections before the end of the hour, I required
them to check all their work. Both classes worked hard all hour.
The end result of the redo was roughly what I expected. Most people
raised their grade one full grade (D to C was the most common) with a
few people raising their grade two full grades. The class average rose
from a 64% to a 77%. So as a grade raiser, it was a success. Did it show
me that the students learned the material overnight? Hah! The first test
showed how much the students knew...
I guess I don't mind being accused of grade inflation here, though.
It's entirely possible that at least some of the fault of the classes'
abysmal initial score was my fault. I wanted to get some feedback in
that respect and hit upon a way late Tuesday night how I might do this.
I decided that I would institute a journal of some sort in the class.
Initially, I would ask the students to write at least 1/2 page on what
they thought of the class. Was it going to fast for them? Did I not
explain things simply enough for them? In general, what did they think
of Algebra I so far. I assigned it as homework and told them I would
collect it at the beginning of class tomorrow.
I'm still not sure where I'm going to go with the journal idea.
I've toyed with the idea of having a continuing dialog of sorts in
the journals. For instance, I would give the kids a guideline for
what to write in their journal and then I would collect them. Rather
then assign a grade, I would read their comments on put my own comments
to their comments. In this way, I could create a continuing dialog
with my students. I would also be immediately swamped with work.
I have enough work to do now, I don't need to invite more. We'll
see how things go...
Oh, I also gave the Algebra II test today. It was pretty standard.
It looks like everybody did as expected on it, too. No surprised in that