Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bimodal Performance

One of my classes just took an exam and exhibited bimodal performance. Half of the kids did very well and did not miss any conceptual understanding, only a very few (1 or 2) arithmetic errors throughout the entire exam. The other half of the class is missing large chunks of the conceptual setting-up-of-equations and making-predictions type of work. The split is about even.

So, what to do now? My intuition is to complete a concept map/graphic organizer as a class and then set them up in expert-novice pairs to work on remediation, and then the kids who need the extra practice are going to go home with a fresh sheet of problems and be asked to work through it to get additional reinforcement.

What would you do?

PS. I think one of my mistakes was to wait too long to have a large assessment. That's obviously easy to fix in the future, but I'm curious what you think I should do now, given the current situation.

1 comment:

  1. I think the approach you're planning to do sounds like a workable approach.

    I like to change seats every two weeks so that the experts don't end up congregating in one part of the room and the novices in another. I also like to collect and review my students' daily warm-ups: it's always a fairly easy problem taken from the prior day's lesson, so if I have more than a handful of blank papers I know I need to spend more time on the concept. It takes zero class time since they do the warmup when I'm checking homework. You could just as easily use exit slips--Sam Shah's got a great post on his use of them--but for me, I like to give my students a few minutes at the end of class to get started on their homework or to just chill out with their friends.

    Curious to know what ended up working for you.

    Good luck!

    Paul Hawking
    Blog: The Challenge of Teaching Math