Tuesday, 6 May 2014

No Notes? No Problem!

This year I've struggled with my Grade 9 Math class, a concern that I've mentioned a few times during my embarrassingly infrequent 2 Stars & A Wish posts.

While there is no note-worthy behavioural challenges, this particular group of students is incredibly diverse in their foundational math skills & we have everything from Middle School to post-High School levels. Furthermore, there are still a few students who are still adjusting to the different requirements of High School compared to Middle School (although this transition is fairly smooth being in a K-12 school).

I have been trying my best to differentiate instruction, provide various learning opportunities, and offer lunch-hour & after-school support to help ensure that my students are as successful as possible. 

Our exam schedule begins the second week of June and although that is still six weeks away, it is still a short amount of prep time for those students who need to put in extra time in order to solidify their understanding and successfully obtain their credit.

A situation that I am very nervous about is having a full classroom every day at lunch or after school during the week before exams due to a large amount of students wanting to cram before finals. If I am offering extra support I want it to be as one-on-one as possible in order to provide sufficient support. To help alleviate this situation I came up with an Exam Prep Schedule:

preparing your students for final exams, high school exams
A screenshot of the Exam Prep Ad I uploaded onto the main page of our classroom website.
I've included a form for students/parents to sign-up for sessions directly online!

Every Tuesday/Thursday, from now until our exams, I have created Exam Prep Sessions that run for 30mins over the lunch-hour & 1hr after school. I've set a session maximum of 3 students to ensure each student gets sufficient support during their session, which still allows for up to 6 students a day or 12 students a week. Overall, my students are provided with 26 potential Exam Prep Session opportunities (depending on how many they sign-up for & available sessions). Not only was the sign-up sheet available in-class and on our classroom website, but I also sent a mass email to all parents as well.

It is my hopes that this will encourage students to begin studying earlier, help them spread their studying over a longer period of time (less cramming) and more one-one-one support during the final weeks/days before exams.

I also added a NEW page to our classroom website featuring a digital copy of ALL of our classroom notes (to date) and blank copies of tests we've written throughout the year. Any students who lost their notes, didn't take quality notes, missed days, or didn't take notes at all, now have access to all of our information. Students can also retake our old tests and then correct them together with me during an exam prep session!

preparing your students for final exams, high school exams
A NEW page for our classroom website!
What do you do to help prepare your students for final exams?
(outside of the standard reviews & study packages)

Leave your ideas below!

**It is important to note that these efforts are implemented in addition to formal review periods held during classroom time**

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