Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Higher Level Confidence

Despite 4 weeks of practice and warnings over and over that I would never just give them a question like "find the slope between these 2 points," my Algebra class was still flabbergasted that I had the nerve to give them a world problem on a test. And let's just say....I gave them pretty much all word problems.  As you may have guessed, it was our first real, honest to God, Common Core aligned test. For everyone's testing pleasure- no questions below comprehension level here! And as of today, I have 26 new enemies.

The tests are graded and the students did wonderfully, but ohhhhhhhhh baby are they mad. I had 4 angry emails right after...all from the same parent....whose student got a 93% on the test. It's not that my kids don't know the material, but any challenging question shakes their confidence. They have had their hands held and been given knowledge level tests and quizzes for so long....I don't even think they know that they're capable of applying their knowledge!

Does anyone have some tips for helping to build students' confidence with higher level thinking? I always thought the challenge would be helping them be capable of it, but we've done so much practice that they've demonstrated to me that they can handle it. I know as we practice more, confidence will build. But, really, how do you break the "this should just be regurgitation" mindset? 

Giving back the tests tomorrow will be fun, though. That should help in the confidence department! 

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