Thoughts on testing

Sometimes people have asked me about using TESTS with Math Mammoth curriculum -- whether to use them or not.

Well, basically it's up to you. I have provided chapter tests as a tool for those who want to use them, but I don't feel they are compulsory or "required" as such. It all comes down to whether you can use the tests to increase student learning.

So often, tests are administered and grade given, and that's it; the test is forgotten. But there's some real "gold" -- some real value -- you can dig out from tests, and that "gold" is in the mistakes your student makes. The test can point out or manifest the student's weaknesses.

So what? you might wonder. Well, once you AND the STUDENT know about those weaknesses, you can work together to help the student MASTER the material. If there was a mistake in test item #5, then let's practice that topic some more!

One "trick" to help you with this goal is to let students either RETAKE the test or to get partial credit for correcting their mistakes in the test. You can set it up in various ways, but the idea is to motivate them and to help them learn: they can work at it, and then get a better grade for that test. I've used this idea with my children for many years (they can always try to correct their mistakes in a test for partial credit). It also reduces test anxiety!

Here's an article along the same lines - and I was glad to read it ☺:
Retaking assessments - many math teachers are late to the party


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