I was thinking about what I do as a chemistry teacher that is unique and other teachers might be interested in and it usually comes back to standards-based grading (SBG). I do a lot of presentations on SBG but I realized I have a lot of little hacks that I use to make SBG run smoothly that I do not have time to talk about during my presentations. My plan is for this to be a series of posts about things I do to make SBG run more smoothly in my classroom.
Hack #1: Choose Your Own Adventure Quizzes
The "Choose Your Own Adenture (CYOA)" quiz has been on my mind because it is the end of our grading quarter. I give my students a quiz every Friday, including the last Friday of the grading quarter. Usually by this time, this quiz is the third or maybe fourth time students have been assessed on these learning targets. The problem I ran into was students do not have the opportunity to reassess what is on the quiz they just took. To solve this problem, I took inspiration from the "Choose Your Own Adenture" books we probably all read when we were kids.
Figure 1: Image of many of the books belonging to the Choose Your Own Adventure series.1
In reality, the CYOA quiz is not quite as exciting as choosing your ending in "House of Danger" but it is pretty close!
Basically, I give students a full quiz over all the learning targets I would normally assess them on (again, this is the third or fourth time they have seen them) but I let students choose what questions they want to complete. Students take a few minutes to check their grades and jot down on a post-it which learning targets they need to work on. The quiz is basically a big reassessment that students did not have to sign up for in advance.
I really only use this strategy at the end of the grading quarter but it works out well for all students. For the students who have borderline grades, it gives students an additional chance to show what they know. For the students who already have the grade they want, they can rest easy and I can be confident they have mastered the content because they have already assessed on it multiple times.
Sometimes one learning target requires the answer from another (think percent yield). In that case, I will specify that those targets must both be completed, even if the student only needs to reassess one of them. You can see and download my stoichiometry unit CYOA quiz below if you are logged into your ChemEd X account.
This is how I will be ending the grading quarter next week! Next up in my SBG Hacks will be reassessments!
- Originally published by Bantam House, the trademark Choose Your Own Adventure® series has been relaunched by Chooseco LLC. (website accessed 3/6/19)
*Note from the Editor: Follow Lauren's blog for many other resources for the SBG classroom. Standards-Based Grading in the Chemistry Classroom & Electronic Portfolios and Final Exams are a couple of great examples.