My first unit in Geometry is called Lines and Angles. We are introduced to a lot of vocabulary (lines, points, planes, rays, etc) and a lot of notation. We talk about angle relationships with parallel lines and a transversal and we calculate the midpoint and distance of segments on the coordinate plane.
Not a lot in this unit, and it's pretty straightforward (at least, I think so). I expected test scores to be overall pretty high.
So, I've been doing some thinking about the unit, and how I could have improved test scores.
Here's the good:
- I made the students take notes. I checked as often as I could that they were actually doing it during class. I made it a part of their grade and allowed notes use on the quiz.
- There was a lot of chances to practice what we learned. I gave homework nearly every class period (every other day because of our block schedule), and we also did some class work.
- Homework was (somewhat) spiraled. I did give some homework about transversals when we were studying midpoint and distance in-class.
- I collected and graded nearly every assignment. If I didn't check for correctness, I gave students a chance to check their own work against an answer key.
- I gave a quiz and got it back to the students in a timely manner. I encouraged them to fix what they missed.
- I gave out a Study Guide with a list of all vocabulary and skills that would be on the test.
- Shorter, more focused homework along with more of an emphasis on in-class work, so I can see how they are doing right away.
- Two quizzes. The unit was 5 weeks long. Two quizzes would have been more appropriate.
- A review day of some sort.
- Fixing mistakes on a quiz is assigned and not optional. Perhaps for students who scored below a certain score.
For the next unit, I am going to put some of these things into place. I am going to continue to make them take notes. I am going to give more quizzes more often, and make kids fix mistakes as an assignment. Maybe kids who score below a 70%? 80%? I am still debating on the review day. I just don't like them. I'll probably do one anyway.
Here's to great scores next time around!
As for these current tests, I still haven't figured out what to do.