Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I talked a couple weeks ago about how I was very excited about my students' motivation for retakes.  For some reason, that motivation has plummeted.  I had 20 students sign up for retakes for the most recent quiz and 9/20 did not show up for their retakes.  They choose the time to take it.  I don't post the schedule anywhere, but I always tell students when their retake is if they ask.  I'm not sure what to do next.  Last year I "punished" students who did not show up for a retake and didn't allow them to retake for the next quiz.  The punishment doesn't really fit with what I'm trying to do.  I guess I could copy the retake schedule and post it somewhere, but I don't have time to hunt each student down and remind them of when their retake is.  Any suggestions for helping this?  I plan to talk to the students about it tomorrow, but I want to get my initial frustration out here.

I'll report back with what the students say.


  1. This seems like something you're really passionate about. A question that I don't know the answer to....is expecting a 6th grade student to sign-up for a re-take and follow through with coming in outside of class a legitimate expecation for this age? (We all expect students to do homework, for example, but how much is reasonable for a 4th grader vs. a 12th grader? Do you see the point?)

    Second, what's more important in this situation...the responsibility of students re-taking the test or the learning that takes place when they study and eventually actually do re-take the test? If one outweighs the other, than maybe a protocol or expectation needs to be changed. Thoughts?

  2. Those are some good questions to ponder. I'm not sure. I feel like they should be responsible enough to do it. Maybe posting it somewhere would help. It seems like the remembering to do it just fluctuates from time to time. The retake before this one had a great % of students show up. I will definitely ask them these questions tomorrow. Kids seem to be the best at solving these types of situations, so they may have some really good suggestions.

    Of course the learning is more important than the responsibility. If I can put some of the responsibility on me, whether it's a list posted on the board of students and their retake times for the day, or something, I'm willing to do it.

  3. Unfortunately I am having a similar experience with students not choosing to re-take. I also found that the students who did take the re-take did not improve their score by very much.

    The sad thing for me is I think that I care more about their learning than they do at this age (I also have 6th graders).

  4. Amen about you caring more about their learning. I feel the exact same way! Do you have any tips?

  5. Some more food for thought...if there are a significant number of students who did not do well on a particular learning target, would it make more sense to make it an "all-class" experience and take some time during class to re-teach? This may or may not be the case in your situation(s), but it's something I battle back and forth with in my head from time to time.

  6. That's an idea, too. Maybe I'll try that next quiz.