Rookie Year: Day 120

I ran the students through a practice exam in preparation for Friday’s test.

One of the issues all of my blocks are having is completing tests too quickly. On average they take about 20-25 minutes and many of them do not pass. So today I forced them to take 35 minutes, telling them they couldn’t look at their phones or read a book or get their chromebooks out until the time was up, so they might as well spend the full amount working on the practice test. I said this was to help them slow down and take their time.

I don’t know if it worked, many students just put their heads down after 20 minutes.

But I still told them they had a better feel for how long they should be taking on tests.

After the practice test we went over the answers, and this activity took up the whole block.

I gave them a study guide last week, and technically I am behind the rest of the department, so all of my classes have been given a LOT of time to learn adding, subtracting, and multiplying polynomials.

I am going to introduce factoring tomorrow and Wednesday as simply “backwards” multiplication questions and see how they do. Hopefully I can blend this unit with the next one on factoring. I am very concerned about how this next unit will go given the struggles that my students have with multiplying and adding integers. I am going to lean heavily on area models to help them see what’s going on.

It won’t always work with my schedule but I wish I could give a practice exam every Monday. It was nice for the first day of the week to not be one where I was running around talking the whole day.

Thanks for reading.

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