Sunday, May 29, 2016

Review Routine

We finished the curriculum very early in May this year.  This gave me 26 days to review for the Regents.  Honestly, I feel that this is too much.  I'm always stuck in between spending more time on a topic and continuing on to finish the unit.  Since this was my first year that I was fully converted to Common Core, I now know that I can spend more time on some topics, and still have time to review at the end of the year.

I started by reviewing constructions.  On the first day we did the basics:  perpendicular bisectors, equilateral triangles, angle bisectors, and perpendicular lines (G-CO 12).  On the second day we did squares, regular hexagons, and equilateral triangles inscribed in circles (G-CO 13).  This went much better than it did at the beginning of the year.  Some of my students even came up with robust shortcuts.  I was so impressed!  On the third day we did inscribed and circumscribed circles (G-C 3).  This did not go so smoothly.  In fact, I still need to review it.  Back in December, we tried to construct the incenter and the circumcenter of a triangle.  It truly was a preview of what was to come.  It was an absolute disaster.  Students get so confused by having so many arcs and lines all over the place.  I wish I could give them colored pencils to distinguish between each set of arcs/lines, but the colored pencils do not fit in the compasses we use.  When it comes to these two constructions we're all just keeping our fingers crossed that they are not on the Regents this year.

After the constructions, we reviewed one unit each day for 10 days.  Next year I will probably combine two units into one day.  I gave students a worksheet/packet with basic notes from the unit, and Regents review questions to practice.  Since there are only 3 Common Core exams released, some of these questions were from the old Regents.  I find that the old Regents questions are great for going over the basics of the topic.  Students had about half of the period to work on the packet independently, and then in the last 10-15 minutes of class we went over the packet.  Instead of doing Exit Tickets, I formatively assessed students by checking their answers to Do Nows at the beginning of each class.

We are now in the mixed review phase.  Our school orders a Regents review booklet for each student.  If you teach in NY, you can order the same review books here.  The booklet comes with six practice tests.  Since there have only been three tests so far, the first three tests were made up by the company.  I don't particularly like those tests, so we are skipping over them and starting at the actual Regents exams.  I printed Avery labels with each student's name and directions to return the book to my classroom if it's lost, and stuck them on each booklet.  (I actually have students complete this task for community service.)  I assign students questions from the booklet for homework (1- 15 the first day, 16-31 the second day, and 32-36 the third day), and we go over the questions the next day in class.

In between the three tests, we take a "Mini-Regents".  Since students have three hours to earn 86 points on the Regents, and I teach 42-minute periods, my unit tests are out of 20 points.  For a mini-Regents, I give a test worth 44 points over two class days (22 points each day).  It is approximately half of a Regents, and I scale their grades according to the scale used to calculate Regents grades.  It gives students a better idea of what they are slated to earn on the actual Regents, and they have time to make improvements if they are unhappy with their grades.  We'll take two Mini-Regents exams before the end of the school year.

What do you do to review?  How do you incorporate games?  I would like to in the future, but it hasn't worked out  for this year.

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