Algebra and geometry took concept tests today. These are always kind of interesting because they take less than 20 minutes, which leaves me with 30 minutes of instruction time. Today I introduced factoring special products then they took the test.
I am not sure what the best way to spend the other 30 minutes is… (we take concept tests nearly every week)
I have tried:
- Testing then teaching and vice-versa.
- Finding some interesting puzzle/problem for students to work on after the test.
- Study hall after the test (Another way of saying I didn’t plan anything)
My go to is something like #1. The issue with this is my lower students get the concepts on the test mixed up with the new concepts I just taught (Especially today when we covered factoring special products and then multiplying special binomial products was on the test). Plus I am not sure how much of the information students actually retain when they know they have a test coming in the next 25 or so minutes.
#2 is what I would like to do all the time. However, students don’t seem to get as excited about these problems and feel that since they already took a test, they can check out for the rest of the day.
#3 is… a waste of valuable time if I test each week.
Finding a balance is hard, I am interested in how you use the extra time after a quiz/test.