Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. Why do things seem to be changing so much in math these days?

Q. What is the time frame for homework?

Q. Can students retake tests or quizzes?

Q. How are quizzes and tests scored?

Q. Can students redo practice assignments for a higher score?

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A. Here is an article by Jo Boaler, a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, that talks about the change that is being seen in mathematics classrooms.

*Memorizers are the lowest achievers and other Common Core math surprises *

*To be clear, we don't follow the Common Core at Ashbrook in the same way the public sphere must. Most of our students are running ahead of grade-level content, and the Common Core would slow them down (especially the standards that are overly tedious or needlessly confusing).

This is also why we don't use the SBAC or PARCC assessments to monitor annual student progress.

As a math teacher, one of the worst things I have heard parents say is, "Well, we weren't very good at math when we were in his age, so we told him that Bs and Cs would be OK here." When a parent says that to a child, they are giving implicit permission to perform poorly, give up early, and try very little.

Here is an article from *The Atlantic* that discusses the role that genetics plays in math ability.

*The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'*

A. When practice is assigned, it is expected back completed the following school day at the beginning of class (after being checked with table groups) to potentially earn full credit (10 points). Below is an example assignment on a calendar. If it was assigned on the 14th, it would be due for a potential 10 on the 15th. If it wasn't turned in on the 15th, the student has from the 16th to the 22nd to get it in to earn a 9. If it comes in beyond the 22nd but before the end of the term, it can still earn a potential 5. If it isn't turned in at all, by the end of the term, it is worth a 0.

Of course, absences affect due dates and are handled on a case-by-case basis. Also, exceptions can be made if the student makes a reasonable and timely attempt to contact me to let me know that he or she is struggling with it AND help is arranged immediately. Oh, and if you're wondering about why I have "Saturday" and "Sunday" listed as days that I accept homework, I've had students digitally photograph or scan their work and email it to me. That's a great way to get it in. :)

A. Yes, students get one chance to fix and re-take a quiz or test, but only if the score earned the first time is less than 80%. The best time to do this is after school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, although if arrangements are made ahead of time, lunch works as well. Due to grading constraints, and me needing to have my grades in before the end of the grading period (for progress reports), and the end of the semester (for final grades), I'm going to ask that students take care of retakes anytime except for the final week of the grading period or semester.

If it is to make up for a quiz or test that the student was absent for, the student can simply let me know when he/she would like to make it up and I'll have it ready for him/her. If it is to re-take a quiz or test that the student got a low score on, he/she is going to have to fix the mistakes on the original assessment first. From there, the student gets one try to do better. However, I will use the higher quiz/test score that the student earns, so students should never worry about doing worse on a test or quiz.

A. Quizzes are ultimately worth 10 points, they vary in the number of questions they have, and individual questions vary in the amount of points they are worth.

As an example, a quiz with 14 questions (where each question is worth 2 points), would produce 28 points total. From there, I take the number of points that the student earned out of that 28, and multiply it by 10/28. By doing this, I can make any quiz worth 10 points no matter how many questions or points it has. Afterwards, I round the decimal score to the nearest whole number.

So, if a student earned 28 points on the quiz, 28 x 10/28 = 10; that student would earn 10/10. There would be a 10 entered in the gradebook.

If a different student earned 23 points on the quiz, 23 x 10/28 = 8.21428...; that student would earn 8.2/10. There would be an 8 in the gradebook.

If a different student earned 16 points on the quiz, 16 x 10/28 = 5.71428...; that student would earn 5.7/10. There would be a 6 in the gradebook.

If a different student earned 12 points on the quiz, 12 x 10/28 = 4.28571...; that student would earn 4.2/10. There would be a 4 in the gradebook.

Tests are scored in a similar fashion, but they are worth 20 points rather than 10, and the decimal value is rounded to the nearest tenth.

As an example, a test with 25 questions (where each question is worth 3 points), would produce 75 points total. From there, I take the number of points that the student earned out of that 75, and multiply it by 20/75. This makes the test worth 20 points no matter how many questions or points it has. Afterwards, I round the decimal score to the nearest tenth.

So, if a student earned 75 points on the test, 75 x 20/75 = 10; that student would earn 20/20. There would be a 20 entered in the gradebook.

If a different student earned 70 points on the test, 70 x 20/75 = 18.6666...; that student would earn 18.7/20. There would be an 18.7 in the gradebook.

If a different student earned 65 points on the test, 65 x 20/75 = 16.3333...; that student would earn 16.3/20. There would be a 16.3 in the gradebook.

If a different student earned 60 points on the test, 60 x 20/75 = 16; that student would earn 16/20. There would be a 16 in the gradebook.

A. Yes and No. Yes, they can redo the assignment, but no, it will not raise the score. An important piece of the practice assignments is that they are time-based (see calendar above for more information on when assignments are due). Practice can be re-done to better a student's understanding, but not to change a score.