No Calculator Problems
Pop Quiz #1 (the fake pop quiz, for the announcement about becoming "a mather")
Midterm #1 (Shapeshifting)
The first half of the class time devoted to each midterm test focuses on solving problems using the characteristics of well-written step-by-step problems.
- Paper is ruled with lines tall enough for factions. Work is written using pencil in a reasonable size.
- Fractions are written vertically, not diagonally.
- Dots for multiplication and decimal points are not confusing.
- Steps are clear and small enough to answer "What was I thinking here?"
- Proper math grammar is used when moving from step to step, and when canceling.
- Rates that should have labels do have labels. Proportions have equal signs.
- There are enough equal signs for flow. Equal signs really mean everything they connect is equal.
- Problems are clearly numbered, spaced apart sufficiently, and easy to find.
- Enough of the original problem is included to allow double-checking for copying errors.
- Appropriate parts of the problem line up vertically. Equations are solved with the Vertical Format.
- Work written horizontally to emphasize terms and to leave room for fraction reducing/unreducing.
- "Off on a tangent" work is to one side, set apart with a brace or cloud, and points to where it fits in.
- Abbreviations for unit labels are proper. (meters = m, miles = mi, minutes = min, etc.)
- The answer is easy to find in a box (or otherwise made distinct).
- Answers that should have labels are correctly labeled.
- Fraction answers are reduced.
The second half of each midterm test focuses on group collaboration to finish and fix answers. There will be a lot of valuable learning involving explanations out loud and pointing at each other's papers—two resources that will forever vanish! Capture this learning by making fixes to your scratch work, and by finishing any test problems you did not finish by yourself. (Each group member should write his or her own fixes.)
Write your fixes and finishings distinctly. Use another color pencil, pencil versus pen, separate pieces of paper, clouds around the fixes, etc. The ability to clearly see which topics were difficult or promoted careless mistakes will help you be properly wary when studying for future tests.
- It is easy to tell the original step-by-step work from the fixes and finishing.
- The fixes also use the 16 characteristics of well-written step-by-step problems.
- The scratch paper is now complete. (Every problem is answered.)
- The scratch paper is now accurate. (All answers have a good attempt at being correct.)
Before leaving the classroom, or later that same day, text or email your instructor a one sentence study plan.
This study plan should include using helpful study skills and habits and be relevant to the problems you fixed or the problems your group answer inaccurately. Optionally, it may also include reminders about improving test-taking technique.
- The study plan focuses on specific math concepts or skills.
- The study plan fits with the test's fixes and missed problems.
- The study makes use of appropriate study skills or habits.
- The study plan describes studying before the next test.
The end result has a written record of which problems you need to study and your plan about how to study them. It also has every problems correctly solved in a step-by-step manner to be optimally helpful when studying for the final exam.