November 2, 2012

Running Retakes

Today was the last day of first quarter (crazy!) so this week has been filled with students wanting to retake tests and quizzes (along with correcting projects but that process is different).  I have a very fancy retake system, I know you're going to be wowed.

1.  I write 3 questions on an index card and give it a fabulous name like "Lines Quiz Retake 1"  I give a test and a quiz for each standard and make 2-3 versions of retakes (numbered 1, 2, 3 or maybe A because I did that one week).

2.  Students grab a quarter sheet of scrap paper and answer the questions.

3.  Students hand in both the answers and the questions, I re-file the questions (i.e. clip it to the other retake cards for the course) and put the answers in the folder that corresponds to the class they're in (making sure the student correctly labeled the answer sheet with their name and the name of the quiz/test).

4.  Repeat.  A lot.  I've run out of scrap paper on several occasions so I've taken to scrounging for one sided leftovers at the copiers (we also use quarter sheets to take quizzes).

It may not be a fancy system, but it works.  I don't have to make up problems on the spot.  I have a few sets of questions so multiple students can take the reassessment at once, but when I'm grading I just need to match the answer sheet to the correct index card to check their answers.  When a student is waiting for a quiz/test that's in use I just have them label their quarter sheet and put it next to my pile of cards.  I had grand intentions of creating a filing system, but there just aren't that many standards in a quarter, so it doesn't take me long to find the right one.  Maybe someday I'll type the questions and tape them down to index cards, but some of my students with testing anxiety feel much more relaxed with this casual system than they do sitting down with a large, typeset test.  Plus, if a student accidentally writes on the question card it takes a few seconds to re-write the questions on a new card.  (None of our printers have ink in them so printing something is actually an annoying ordeal that involves going to the library and hoping no one was copying when you printed to the copier.)

How do you deal with the rush of students who want to bring up their grade at the end of the quarter?


  1. The index card system sounds like a great idea! I had so much trouble with organization during my first year of SBG. My solution has been to digitize everything (but our school is blessed with lots of printer ink).

    On the end of quarter rush, save your sanity -- set a hard reassessment deadline for the Friday BEFORE the end of quarter. That gives you a week to finish grading and finalize everything. At least for me, the quality of those last-minute reassessments was generally not good anyways(since many of those same students were running around trying to get their grades up in 6 other classes as well).

    1. The school actually sets the week ahead deadline for us. Last day of quarter was today, grades aren't due until Thursday. Works out well for everyone.

  2. I wish I HAD an end of quarter rush. :(

    1. I share grades with students regularly and in my non-honors classes I allow retakes during class on Fridays (including last day of the quarter). My honors kids will all stay after school, especially since most are in sports and are after school anyway.