Math: How do you address students who aren´t understanding?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by TamiJ, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    At the elementary level any student who does not undertand the concept, or who is struggling with the concept I will pull to work with in a mall group. I might also send them with another teacher for intervention (at my school, we each work with another teacher and do intervention with their students who need it). When I see students struggling with the work, or when a student does poorly on a test I use that information to decide who I am working with in small groups. How do you do that at the secondary level? When a student fails, let´s say a math test, what would be your next step of action? Are students allowed to continue working on tests and retest? I am very curious because my daughter struggles in math and I am trying to figure out how secondary teachers, in general, help those kinds of students.
     
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  3. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    If a student fails a test, I allow them to retest (providing that it doesn't happen during instructional time). However, it will not be the exact version of the test that they just took and they know that. I also come in early/stay late for tutoring. or will tutor during my planning period. I will offer to tutor on weekends (this has never been accepted by the way). The tutoring serves two purposes - it gives the kids one on one time plus I can tell who is willing to expend extra time and effort. Students who get tutoring rarely end up failing the class.
     
  4. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I'd offer a re-test. Sometimes, a teacher would average the grades. Other times, a student can earn as high as the lowest passing score. It depends on the teacher. :D
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Great, that's helpful. Thanks!
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    As a parent with a child that struggled in math I appreciated it when some of her teachers offered retakes on tests. As a chemistry teacher I stopped the practice because student learning actually decreased in my classes. Students would blow off studying for a test because of this activity or that, knowing they could retake the test later. I ended up grading tests twice AND giving up time after school for no added benefit.

    I gave two students retakes on their last quiz today because there was a misunderstanding when they took it the first time. I made it harder for them by removing the word bank since they had already seen the vocab terms before. They went from 20s to 100s.

    I think I might start offering retakes for certain quizzes as a result. I would rewrite the quizzes if I did it on a regular basis.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I wonder if that frame of mind would change if instead of letting all students know they could retake failed tests, only mentioning it to the student who does not pass.
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    At the high school level nothing remains between a teacher and one student.
     
  9. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I allow students to redo certain standards if they have proved to me that they have re-studied.

    I also provide extra help after school Monday-Thursday.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I guess I just mean that instead of making it an open policy that you actually discuss with all your students, just offer it to the occasional students who might need it. Pull them to the side and offer extra time to study, for intervention, and explain you´ll give them a second chance to retake the test, or a different version. I understand that the student might discuss it with another student, but the idea is that it´s not out there on the table for the whole class, so you might have fewer instances of students not taking tests seriouly jut because they know they can retake them.
     
  11. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I was actually going to say that those specific students that you let retake might take advantage. Those students might then figure later on down the road if I don't do well the teacher is going to allow me to retake it anyway. My current math teacher lets us only redo quizzes not tests. When I become a teacher I am not sure if I would allow this or not. I understand teachers want the students to grasp the concept but being a student means studying.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I offer a retest, but I usually require some kind of evidence that they'll do better before hand. i.e. they take remediation notes with me while those who passed work on a different activity, or they complete a note sheet to use on the test or do test corrections.

    I always find a way to make it more work the second time around. That keeps them wanting to pass the first time so they don't have to do all the extra work.
     
  13. Glühwürmchen

    Glühwürmchen Rookie

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    If you're going to offer retests then offer them to anyone who meets a certain criteria (tests corrections, a limit on retests per semester, etc.)

    I say this because what constitutes a bad grade is different for everyone. What if the star student has a bad day and gets a 75%? It's not failing so under most of your policies s/he wouldn't be able to retake it. Is it really fair that then the kid who got a 68% can retake it and get an 85%? If I was the kid who got a 75 and found out my teacher gave a retake opportunity to the other kid I would be pretty upset.
     
  14. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    It really depends on the teacher and\or math department. My school has lunch tutoring and if a student bombs a quiz, they are advised to go there before the teat and get help. Most of my students go even if they get a 100% (very common in my classes). I don't do lunch tutoring because my room isn't near the cafeteria, the 3 math teachers closest to the cafeteria tutor all types of math. One is algebra 1\geometry, one is algebra 2 and the math department head, and the other teaches trigonometry\analytic geometry\pre-calculus. I know the biology teachers have an E.O.C prep class in April and part of May. So do most of the AP teachers. I don't offer retests unless you are absent.
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I´m just comming at this from the same view point that I look at all things we do in education: if understanding is our goal, then why wouldn´t we offer a student more time to learn the concepts? I know there are many teachers who think differently than I, but honestly I don´t think it should end at the test. I do believe in looking at the results as data to determine the next step, not just ending there, especially when that data shows the student did not meet the learning objectives.
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Since you're wasting 2 days with the test and then retest, why not make the first day a review session. Go over any problems the students can't do (maybe parents can help the students make a list of questions the night before) so that they only have to take one test. If they fail that test then it's because they didn't ask for help.
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    One of my colleagues used to do a "pretest". It was basically a version of the test that was done the class period before the "real" test. Since we were on block schedules, he had time to administer, collect and grade the pretest. The rest of the period was spent on a review. Any student who scored a B or better had the option to keep the grade and do a quiet activity of their choice during the real test or got to an extra gym class (pre-arranged with the gym teacher). Students who got a C or below, or who were not happy with their score if they got a B or better could come in for extra help during lunch, before school or after school on the day between class meetings.
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    It doesn't end at the test. It ends at the final exam.

    The main reason is because there simply isn't enough time for a student to determine the pacing. And there isn't enough time for me to re-administer, re-grade and then re-record test results for every student that wants to get a higher grade.

    I used to think the way you do. I offered retests and test corrections. I saw no improvement in actual learning. The majority of the time students actually scored LOWER on the retakes. I do offer them in isolated instances, but not overall.
     

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