Test Corrections, Corrected.

February 24, 2013 at 11:14 AM 3 comments

I tend to teach the way I was taught, especially when stressed. Handing back tests, stressful all round. So I’d put up the answer sheet and go over the right answers… Quite a few kids would crumple up their tests, or just shove them into their back packs. Many just glazed over. I do allow a redo for up to a ‘B’, so I was at a loss for what would be more engaging and would still re-teach concepts kids had missed.

Mike M., my student teacher for a week, refreshed us all with the suggestion that students correct their own tests with help from table mates, from their notes, and from us. I had another seat activity to mop up students who had finished quickly.

What a huge difference. Students helping each other, the atmosphere more curious and less accusatory. I’m more relaxed, interacting one on one, more able to make changes to their grades if we’d made a mistake. Most importantly, there was space for real coaching, and students somehow in a much better place to ask for it and accept it. Much easier to ask a question that way, than in front of the class, obviously.

The redo scores reflected the improvement in learning and class averages were above the usual.

Thank you again, Mike, for this wonderful correction, and for all the help you gave as a coach to students, and with clean up and set up of labs over your week of placement at Orinda Intermediate School. Another high five for including student teachers in the classroom.


Entry filed under: Assessment and grading, Class Management, Critical Thinking, Reflections. Tags: , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Robert Brewer  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    What a great story. Bravo to the kids for taking a new suggestion and running with it. Those kids are ready for anything different. And kudos to you for always being flexible and open-minded to adjust the way things work. High-fives all around!!


  • 2. Kevin McElhinney  |  March 31, 2015 at 4:50 PM

    This is interesting! I too do test retakes. I am wondering is there what student motivation is for doing corrections and a redo. Do you give points or a grade for the correction. I love the idea and am just wondering how I could do the same thing.


    • 3. Sue Boudreau  |  March 31, 2015 at 6:57 PM

      Hi Kevin,
      We do redos for up to a ‘B’for tests and for full credit for other assignments. However we require that students submit the original piece of work with it, not just the corrections. This puts a little onus on them to try to follow directions etc. the first time, but does give them a way to recover from a brain outage. It’s really appreciated by students and reduces parent anxiety too. Btw, this doesn’t end up making a huge amount of extra work although I do have to keep track of dribs and drabs of work coming in. It’s manageable though, and really worth it to take grading from punitive to useful feedback. Sue



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