In an effort to encourage students to learn from their mistakes, I allow students to correct their tests (and quizzes) to earn back half credit. [Update7/31/2013: I now do SBG so students complete the form in order to be eligible for a retake and retake scores replace current scores. I only use the half sheet form but the questions and columns are the same.] I started doing this instead of retakes since many kids just want to immediately retake the test without going back and learning what they didn't understand the first time around. I like some of what I've seen where teachers require proof of remediation in Standards Based Grading, but this works for me for now.
Originally the process was: student shows up after school, we sit down with lined paper and their test and go through the whole test, I give them some extra points. This was fine, but not many kids were taking advantage, and it was really time consuming for me. Then at a department meeting our head teacher shared an article about tests as part of the learning process (as opposed to coming after the learning), we shared our methods of doing re-takes/correcting tests and then came up with a template for correcting tests. We don't all use the exact same one, but I really like this one:
Reflection in actual sentences is really important in my class (students journal daily) so I have students start filling out the questions on the first page while I'm handing back the tests. At the beginning of the year we spend quite a bit of class time correcting tests together. I hear some good conversations between students trying to figure out the differences between their answers and I am able to circulate and check in with the students who had more striking deficiencies. As the year goes on we won't spend quite so much class time working on corrections, but I do try to give them as much time as possible because chances are kids need some help and if we do it in class they will be more likely to analyze their answer than just take a guess and hand it back in.
Guessing won't actually get you anywhere on a correction page. It's fine to guess on the test (I'd always rather they write something than leave a question blank) but I am quite serious about the "No explanation = No credit" statement. They need to fill in all 3 columns- what they are correcting, why they got it wrong the first time and why their new solution is correct. I'm not looking for an essay, since I teach mostly Geometry they can get away with a nice drawing most of the time to explain their point, but there has to be something.
So far, so good this year. It's nice to see most of the kids trying to learn from their mistakes. Plus, the reflection questions give me some good early insights. They tell me who is working really hard and still struggling (I studied for hours, thought I was totally ready and then bombed!) vs. who isn't very invested (actual quote from today "I don't study") vs. who has low expectations (I'm happy that I didn't fail). This information influences how I approach students, plus I think they like the opportunity to share their experience.
I'm also doing this with quizzes this year (I have a half sheet version) but I may only allow them to correct the following class and after that they have to retake? Not sure yet, still in the "How do you not know all the routines and norms yet?? Oh yeah, you're all new, I forget it's only September." mode and until we have settled in I'm not sure how that new addition will play out. To end, a cute drawing a student made who got a 100% on her quiz: