Participation Points and Retaking Quizzes

So I’ve got an idea concerning my participation points and retaking quizzes.  As long as my quizzes test for understanding, which I think they are starting to thanks to ideas from other bloggers, then I should allow students to retake quizzes as often as they can.  However, as I’ve seen on other teachers’ blogs, I also do not want them to retake time and time again without having at least attempted to understand the material.  This is where the participation points come in: students may “trade” participation points for an opportunity to retake a quiz, as long as they’ve given me one day’s notice.

If you didn’t want to read the long blog post, participation points are a required part of their grade, but they can earn them several different ways–such as watching Khan Academy videos or doing the skills, or commenting on the school website, or doing an advanced “challenge problem”, etc.  So if students can go past 100 points, they can do so by studying for the quiz very specifically, and therefore retake any quiz.  My only concern is that students won’t take advantage of this because they see it as too difficult a task.  One answer to that problem will be to call home and hope their parents can motivate them more than I can…



Filed under Teaching

3 responses to “Participation Points and Retaking Quizzes

  1. Pingback: [NBI] Week four of the Math Blogging Initiation « Quantum Progress

  2. Interesting idea! I think this kind of relates to your recent post/question about the correlation between PPs and test/quiz grades. It encourages the PPs to be more for understanding as opposed to “participation.” They can earn the PPs by studying for the retake and then use them for the retake. It encourages some additional studying over and above what they would normally do in a week. How many PPs would you “charge?”

    If your students can only earn 110 PPs a week, would you let them work toward more knowing that they may need to “spend them” that week for a retake? I hope that makes sense…do you log all points earned, even if over 110? i.e. I do enough for 150 PPs. Do you record 150 on their PP sheet, but only put up to 10 bonus in the gradebook?

    • Yes, I actually DO let them save up for the 9 weeks and retake using extra points! A few times students have earned close to 200 points in a week, and that got them ready for the rest of the 9 weeks for retaking quizzes. Unfortunately that’s not quite what I intended, because when they earn the extra 30 points they wouldn’t be studying for THAT quiz, however, I still save those up on the sheet and put the right below their total so that they can look back at those.

      I’ve been disappointed with how few students have been taking advantage of this, so this past week I polled my class and asked “What was keeping you from retaking quizzes?” Unfortunately one of the big problems was that students didn’t feel that they had enough PPs to retake quizzes. So I told them “If you come to me and explain how you studied for the quiz, then I’ll let you retake it for free!” So we’ll see if more students retake quizzes, even though, as one student pointed out early on, “A quiz retake is the same price as a Choice Card!” (Choice cards are something I give them, worth 30 PPs, at the end of the week if they are both present each day AND have their HW each day. NOT a very hard task…)

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