Before you turn your corrections in, look over any mistake you made. What would you want to tell yourself next time you see a problem like that?
The best part of teaching is empowering students to take control of their own learning. It is a difficult goal to achieve, but ultimately this approach is more fun and less work for both teacher and student. I had some success letting students take charge of their study agenda recently, and I hope you find these ideas helpful.
As a way to reflect on a recent quiz, I asked my students to think of study tips for themselves:
I compiled my students' responses and shared them with the entire class. To ensure that students read everyone's study tips, I created an incentive. Students would be allowed to select all study tips pertaining to one specific quiz problem and have access to those study tips during the upcoming test. Some teachers allow students to use a 3x5 index card with notes during a test. By using all the students' responses and asking them to discern which are most helpful to them, our class created "index cards" that are both collaborative and customized at the same time.
When we had our next test, I gave each student a copy of the study tips they had selected. Students told me it was helpful to have access to these study tips. I even had a student get stuck on a problem who ended up answering it correctly when I reminded her to read the notes she had in front of her.
I've included a copy of the quiz and study tips. The few underlined parts of the study tips are where I edited student response for clarity.
Having students write their own study tips in this way also allows them to practice mathematical communication. I noticed that students did not always use vocabulary precisely. Sometimes the responses were vague enough that I had to insert myself and add a few clarifying words. Improving student use of language is something that I would like to investigate more in the future.
If you have ideas about having students learn from each other or just want to say hi, you can contact me here. Subscribe to the RSS feed to receive all future updates.
I started this blog to share my transformation from math nerd to math nerd who loves to share math with young people. I teach high school in Hanoi, Vietnam. Your comments are always welcome.