On Tuesday, the students took the test for the final unit of the course. For various reasons, the other honors pre-calculus teacher and I decided to make this a group test. The "rules" for the test were:
- the groups were slightly smaller, with 6 or 7 students in each group
- this was not an open book nor an open note test
- the students were to discuss the exercises as close to usual as possible
- the test was worth 12 points, as usual, but 2 of the points came from participation in the discussion (I went from group to group noting the participation like I do every day)
- each group turned in one test; however, each student was required to contribute to the writing of the solutions
As the students left class, I gave them a set of twelve exercises to prepare as a means of studying for the final exam, and on Wednesday and Thursday they discussed the exercises. On Friday, I was gone at graduation rehearsal, so I prepared an additional twelve exercises for them to work on without the usual preparation at home. These three days of discussion were the review for the exam...a far cry from the usual review for the exam which tended to consist of me going through the review exercises in detail. The fact that they were able to get through most of the exercises on Friday without me even being in the classroom is a huge testament to the progress the students have made this year in terms of taking charge of their own education. And as I sit here writing this on Sunday night, I have received two emails, both of which were requests for answers so they could check the work they had done. Again, quite the change.
All in all, a great way to end the course. Hopefully, the grading of the exams over the next couple days will be just as enjoyable.