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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What to do when students fail

My current cooperating teacher is amazing! She trusts me completely in the classroom and instead of giving me normal "teacher-in-training" things to do, she challenges me constantly.

For example, a few weeks ago.... I got my first glimpse at the report card nightmare! Who knew so much data was collected, had to be sorted through, compiled, and then lastly turned into a grade?!

I helped with report cards in high school as a teacher assistant. My teacher was not computer-friendly and for the first time grades had to be sent in electronically. I sat in front of a computer screen for hours putting in grades from papers into a program and then hitting "compute grade" and wala... out popped the grades for the quarter.

It is so not that simple anymore!

Anyways, I walked into class one day and was created by this stack of papers.


Uh-oh! Out of 27 students 14 did not pass the unit exam on decimals. They received a D or less. My cooperating teacher said "I taught the lessons, you clean up the mess." Okay so what's a girl to do!

None of my textbooks had anything in them about what to do when half the class fails, its only a few weeks until THE TEST, and these students still need to complete 3 more units before THE TEST! This means there really is no time to reteach to the entire class.

Students were walking in the door and I needed a plan and fast. So I sat down with a blank copy of the test, my handy-dandy iPad, and a pile of tests and got to work!


First I wrote does the name next to the problem of the student who missed it. Then I called groups back by problem number/concept to reteach the topic. For some of my students, it was a reading error that caused them to miss the answer. For others, the just needed more practice.

I use my iPad for small group work. I have an interact whiteboard on it that I can do all kinds of stuff with. So this is what I use to present problems to my students while working with it. It works a lot like a smart board. I take a picture of a problem and then we can write all over it!

Afterwards, I sent me students back to correct the problems and regrade the test! Wa la! Everyone but 2 was able to get it after the intervention. The other 2 we were not expecting success at all but it never hurts to try. Right?

What do you do when a student fails?

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4 Comments:

At April 9, 2013 at 11:48 AM , Blogger The Social Student Teacher said...

Great job thinking on your feet. I will definitely keep this (putting students' names by which problem they got wrong then teaching that group) in mind for a quick reteach.

 
At April 9, 2013 at 3:12 PM , Blogger Samantha M said...

We do something similar with our students at my school. We have a form where we record their names, make which problems they missed, calculate how many of the students missed a specific problem, and we have a grade level meeting on how to meet their needs based off of our form. This works wonders!

 
At April 9, 2013 at 3:59 PM , Blogger Laura Wagner Jordan said...

Thanks so very much for this post. I love reading about how other teachers handle difficult situations. When my class doesn't do well on an assessment, it truly gets me down.
Laura
TIPS: Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students

 
At April 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM , Blogger Shannon said...

A great way to reteach what kids didn't get the first time. Or the 2nd. Or the.... :)

I'll be doing this DEFINITELY if I teach 6th grade math next year!

Shannon
http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

 

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