Revisiting Articles 1 & 2: Bad Quiz Results = Time to Change

“Don’t get it done, get it right.” More than just a History Fair motto!

As we broke for Spring Break, I assessed what our students knew about Article 1 (e.g. gave a quiz). The average score was a 56%.

56.

We assess to check for understanding, not just to get a grade. 56% represents a failure on a number of levels. Most of our Article 1/2 learning was teacher-led. Students completed notebooks and took notes as I lectured. That clearly failed, and classwork on Wednesday will reflect a departure from that method.

Most telling was one question. Only 26% of students knew that a representative’s term is 2 years. That’s probably the easiest question on the quiz, and 26% tells me students didn’t study, didn’t pay attention in class, or just didn’t care. Bad timing for a quiz, sure, but I think this is an example of what happens without preparation, focus, and tending to our learning.

This quiz is an indicator of both ineffective work on my part as a teacher, and the students’ part in taking ownership of learning. However, it becomes an abysmal failure if we don’t adjust. So, kids – time to adjust on Wednesday. Wake up, show up, and get ready to work. I spent some time over break adjusting my plans and designing a simulation to involve you, not talk to you. I understand my 3 absences, spring break looming, and a post-History Fair lull skew these observations, but the point remains: kids didn’t learn. Time to do work.

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