“Math class is tough.”
How can I use SBG to challenge the top learners?
So after weeping quietly into my cereal while looking at the Geometry Regents results at the end of this year (just kidding, I don’t eat cereal, it was my toast), I noticed that I didn’t have as many “mastery” scores as I had in the previous years. Now for those of you blissfully unaware of the Regents tests, mastery is an 85 or higher on the year end exam. One of our school board’s goal is 90% passing and 40% mastery on all Regents exams (those of you who know of the Algebra II exam, you may return reading when you can manage to stop laughing). In reality I want the students who struggle to pass or better and the rest of the kids I want at mastery.
Before I continue, I want to list the faults with trying to answer this question:
- Sample SBG size of one year.
- Regents exam content varies each and every year, and the curve is set based on how “hard” they want the test to be.
- Sample size of only 40 something students in my classes taking the Geometry Regents. Maybe earlier years were “stacked” in comparison to this year, a feeling that I’ve had since the start of this year.
Compared to the last couple of years, I had far fewer students reach mastery this year. Why?
How do I challenge the students who relatively breeze through the material?
There were maybe 10% of typically high achieving students who did ok on the first assessment and then knocked the second assessment out of the park. These students didn’t have to stay after-school very often to reassess, and they probably spent less time working on math under SBG then they would have in a traditional classroom.
Should I make the quizzes more difficult? Should I cap grades at 85% and to get higher I could design a project for them to get more in depth on a topic? (but if its useful for them, isn’t it useful for everyone?)
To quote Leeloo, Please Help.
(the fifth element is … love, ha. haha. hahahahahaha.)