Monday, January 27, 2014

Error Analysis & Self-Evaluation, iPad Style

OK, I admit that I stole this idea from Andrew Stadel. Our unit on exponents is coming to the end (the quiz is on Wednesday) and some of my students are still struggling with the concepts. I decided today would be dedicated to reviewing and preparing for the quiz. After reading Andrew's post, I decided to write up a similar worksheet of all of the common errors I've been seeing. I put the "worksheet" in Showbie as the Do Now for today. The students annotated the problems, trying to correct the errors that I had made, then we went over the problems together. This was a great learning experience for them, and I think it really helped them with the rest of the problems that they encountered today. Seeing the errors someone else makes gives them a more objective look at the mistakes, and helps them to see what not to do.

After the error analysis, I explained the next activity, designed to give them feedback on how they're doing. This is something I tried once last year and it went well, so I thought I'd try it again with the exponent unit. Using the MasteryConnect website, I set up 5 mini-assessments (3 questions each). Each mini-assessment focused on a particular type of exponent problem. Then I printed out the "bubble sheets" for each. I had 5 stations corresponding to the 5 mini-assessments set up around the room, each with an iPad opened up to the MasteryScan app, and a pile of extra practice problems. 

At their desks, students completed one of the mini-assessments, then went to the corresponding station to scan their bubble sheet. The app gives them instant feedback on how they did with those types of exponent problems, along with recording the result for me to view later on the website, which I love. For their own benefit, I suggested they take note of which problems they had incorrect and go back to try to correct them. If they scored anything less than 3 out of 3 on each assessment, they were to take one of the extra practice problems sheets to try more of the same type of problems. Everyone was very intent on getting all of their problems correct. If they just couldn't figure out what they did wrong, they came to me for help. A few students even sought out help from their peers who understood it better than them, which I love to see!

My goal was to give them additional practice so when they are completing the study guide tomorrow, they will feel more confident and be better prepared for the quiz on Wednesday. I overheard someone say "This is fun!", so if they enjoy all the hard work and appreciate the feedback, it just makes it even better!

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