Day 42: Speeding up

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One of the things I’m struggling with is the time it takes for my students to complete assessments. Slowly but surely we’re turning 20 minute assessments into 40 minute ordeals. I don’t want to be the teacher ripping papers from students’ hands, and I don’t really feel like time pressure should factor into demonstrating student understanding, but at the same time, we’re losing valuable class time, and students are losing some of the time they need to give themselves good feedback.

I’ve tried giving general time guidelines, reminding students when 10, 20 and 30 minutes have passed and asking them to mark their papers, and in a few cases, I’ve asked kids to find the place where they spent the most time, but I can’t help but think the thing that would help the most is students learning to build a sense of when they don’t understand something, and simply move on, knowing that it will be more productive to learn what they don’t understand by examining the solution or practicing later, rather than simply trying to will themselves to the answer. So I’d love any suggestions you might have for how to work on this.

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About John Burk

The ramblings of a physics teacher.
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One Response to Day 42: Speeding up

  1. bcphysics says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I have students that carefully check their test questions over three times, with lots of thinking and pondering. They are absolutely scared to make a mistake, because Term 1 marks are used for university acceptance.

    I am starting to wonder if learning all the physics isn’t actually all that important, and that we would do better to build resilient students – kids that can better self-regulate where they are, and deal with adversity. I’m not saying that you don’t do this, it’s more of a reflection of what I’m dealing with.

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