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In alignment with Positive Behavior Interventions & Support (PBIS)*, this has been the best test corrections assignment I have offered my students! It is fully editable for any subject, assignment, and earned credit for corrections. This also provides you with an artifact to show administrators during evaluation time, demonstrating how you individualize instruction for all students in your classroom.
Via this strategy my students were the most engaged, purposeful, and self-motivated they had ever been following poor test performance. Their grade was in their hands, and they were eager to figure out what they had missed to earn back points.
Inspired after one of my classes performed poorly on a challenging test (the highest grade was a 73%), I wanted to offer my students the opportunity to meaningfully celebrate their successes (however small) and to motivate them before I started my reteaching unit.
Framing their "failure" as half-mastery enabled them to push forward through the difficult material toward understanding without suffering a bruised ego or injury to their confidence.
Directions for administering the "letter:"
1) Grade tests, but do not give students the correct answers.
2) Post students' grades to electronic grade book. Do not curve.
2) Edit "Letter" in highlighted areas (Assignment Name, Due Date, Name of Grading Software, and Your Name).
3) Print out letter and customize for each student (or have a student help you do this). Fill in: percentage of material students' mastered, grade posted to grade book, number of questions missed, and points students can earn back per question for satisfactory corrections).
4) Staple the letter to students' answer sheets.
5) Introduce lesson with candy or some other positive spin. The first time I assigned this I used candy as a set, telling my students I wanted to "sweeten the news," about their last test.
6) Explain to students that the tests indicated that they have not mastered ALL the material, so we will continue to work on _________this week. Tell them that if they earned a 50 on the test, that indicates that they understood HALF the material, and that's a lot better than none! Explain that a 50 shows some understanding and progress to our goal.
7) Follow that up by saying, but... "as you know, a 50% is a failing grade, and that is not what we want."
8) Explain that you posted the grades as they are, but that each student has the opportunity to earn back ______ points per purposeful correction (I offer full credit back if the test was challenging).
9) Instruct students they are to work independently. (I let my students with IEPs work together).
10) Students write down the # of the question missed, the correct answer, and the reason that this answer is correct.
11) I give students one class period of work time. They may turn it in when finished (so have an extension / reinforcement assignment on hand for early finishers). If they do not finish, they must finish for homework, adhering to the deadline you print on the letter to receive points.
*Read more about PBIS here https://www.pbis.org/