4 Things that Happened Since Allowing Reassessments in my Math Class

Three years ago, I started letting my students retake their math assessments. Unsure of what to expect, I have modified the process of reassessment. Currently, students must first do corrections on their original assessment. This means they will correctly complete all missed problems/concepts. Next, students will fill out a Google Form indicating to me what standards they would like to reassess on. Here is what their form looks like:

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I am able to view the results so I know when students are coming into reassess so I can have their reassessment ready.

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When they come in, I meet with them and discuss their mistakes and see if they have learned the material. I then give them individualized problems based on the standards they need to reassess on. I do not give them the same assessment.  Once a student takes the reassessment, I score it and replace any previous scores with the current levels of mastery. For example, if a student earned a “2” on a standard and they earned a “4” on the reassessment, I replace the “2” with a “4” in the grade book.

Since implementing reassessments, there are 4 things that have happened:

  1. Students are learning more. Prior to allowing reassessments, I would give an assessment and students would receive a score. Students would move onto new material but would never revisit and relearn the concepts they struggled with on the assessment. Since allowing reassessments, students are now taking the time to learn the material again. They are coming to me saying, “Mr. Humphreys I need more help in understanding….” They are asking for examples. They are asking for more practice. They are initiating the conversation to learn.
  2. Students are taking ownership. Students are now taking the responsibility to sign up for reassessments. In my class, it is expected that students will always keep learning. Students know that if they do not “meet” or “exceed” a standard they need to relearn it. I don’t have to remind them. They take the initiative to make an appointment with me to reassess as well as to go back and do more practice to learn the concepts they struggled with. They are able to tell me, their parents and each other exactly what standards they are struggling with and the steps they are going to take to learn the material.
  3. Students don’t abuse the opportunity to reassess. One of the biggest assumptions is that students won’t study so they can see what’s on the original test only to do well on the reassessment. This simply does not happen. The original test and the reassessments are made so that looking at one won’t help with the other. Students are reassessing standards, not an entire test. Students would much rather do well on the first assessment as the work required to reassess is not an easy process.
  4. Students are excelling. Reassessing has allowed me to put learning at the forefront of everything we do. Students are learning more and, consequently, are performing better on all measures.

More than 3 years ago, I would have never allowed reassessments. I would have given every excuse as to why they would have been detrimental to my students. Today, reassessments have become a vital part of my flipped classroom. Students will always grow, always learn and always make mistakes. Reassessments have become an important part of this process. All math classrooms should allow reassessments to allow students to learn from their mistakes to continue learning.

Posted on December 24, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I like and appreciate your process. So important to give kids time to reflect, relearn and master material. Quick question — what grade level do you teach?

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  2. Kirk, I too, am sold on retakes. I use Kuta software products to make this much easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If the student had a 4 on the assessment then gets a 2 on the reassessment do they get the 2?

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  4. Kathleen Chumkey

    This is where I’m heading. I want to learn from your experience. When were you able to meet with students for reassessments and retracting? I’m trying to think out of the box and need some udeS.
    Thanks – Katie

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  5. Thanks for this insightful post. Do you have a formal reassessment policy that contributes to the success you identified in each of the four points? You mentioned meeting with the student, but for example, must all assigned practice or additional practice be completed prior to reassessment? I’m just wondering besides test corrections what the student is doing to assure a more favorable outcome prior to meeting with you.

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    • As a school, we do not have a formal reassessment policy. Students can meet with me anytime but in order to reassess, they must have corrected all work on their assessment and prove their understanding to me before they reassess. This could be a problem I give them or they could explain it to me in words. I do not grade or score any practice in class so I do not check for any assigned practice. All practice is done in class as my classroom is a flipped classroom.

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