Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Standards Based Review in AP Calculus- Student Feedback

After reading through 50 thoughtful and heartfelt course evaluations from my kiddos, I have pulled out the major themes from the section on standards based review. Overall, the reactions were very positive. These were their favorite parts:

  • Liked opportunity to improve grade
  • Pushed kids to study what they didn't know, not just what felt easy
  • Getting a "4" on a topic built confidence for the exam on that topic
  • Loved having to take them "cold"- gave a real picture of current understanding without stress of low score
  • Gave accurate portrayal of what AP questions would be like
  • Enabled you to correct your mistakes and feel okay being wrong/asking questions

As expected, it wasn't all sunshine and daisies....the kids has some (mostly) constructive feedback on things they didn't like too:
  • Didn't like having to remediate to retake; just wanted to be able to retake
  • Deadlines for retakes stressed some kids out since we were doing multiple per week
  • Frustrating for students who understand concepts but make small algebraic or arithmetic errors and don't get the "4" they want so badly
  • Wanted time in class to retake since finding time outside class can be difficult
  • "Annoying" (Such helpful feedback, I know)
  • Hard to find motivation with senioritis kicking in big time

Overall, I thought it was a success and will definitely be using this strategy again in the future. I was able to see a huge amount of growth in the students that took it seriously and we were able to comb through misconceptions with a fine-toothed comb. I was able to grade extremely critically since students were striving for a perfect "4" instead of settling for a 95% or 97% and not really examining what they did wrong. I whole-heartedly agree that it was a lot condensed into a small time period and the deadlines were constrictive for some students and I'll be adjusting for some of that next year. 

The Google Form I used as a sign up was an absolute must - I could check it daily and was able to track student data through it, as shown here:

Overall, kids took 82 retakes on the 9 quick checks. Most kids said they wish they'd done more. And the growth mindset message seems to be getting through:

Can't believe we're so close to the end! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

'Twas the Night Before AP Calc

Not going to lie, pretty proud of this one....