Try, try again

In calc I give “AP Sets” for each unit. There are usually 3-4 FRQs per set for the kids to practice. Two of these problems then appear on the unit test. So, 50% of the test is given in advance. I though that’d be enough motivation to work these AP Sets. Alas, I was incorrect.

So, on the (suggested) due dates, I’ve been pulling names randomly from a cup and requiring students to present a section if their names are called. They then get a grade of 0-10 on their presentation. They receive an 11/10 if their presentation is flawless. If they receive a grade they’re unhappy with, they may present privately to me on their own time any time before the test to earn back all missed points.

This tactic seemed to be going pretty well. Until last week. It felt like every kid I called on was unprepared. I didn’t chew them out or anything…but I was disappointed with them. And I did call kids out on just copying their friends’ work without understanding the problem. The great thing about presenting is that it’s real clear who knows what they’re talking about and who doesn’t.

Apparently, my disappointment was obvious, because one of my (stellar) kids said today, “I hope everyone’s ready to present today because last time it was very uncomfortable here for a little while.”

Thankfully, it did go a lot better today. And, when class dismissed, the same kid left with a thumbs up: “That was a MUCH better start to class!”

I love when they know that they’ve done a good job. And I love when they correct their poor choices instead of repeating them. And I love when they’re prepared for class. And I love that they don’t like to see me upset.



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