Friday, September 21, 2012

Geometry: Unit One

**So, I wrote this a few weeks ago, and just realized that it never published.  I scheduled it to publish, but it's just sitting here as a draft. you go.  A follow-up of sorts to my Geometry Test post.

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.
Here's what could have been better:
  • 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.  

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