Thursday, September 10, 2015

Request to Retest and Yellow Slips

I've been getting some questions about how my Request to Retest and Yellow Slips work in my classroom.

Request to Retest
I allow my student to retest once per quarter. If they want to retest they can decide to do it whenever they feel the need. It can be right after a test they got back and didn't like that grade or it can be later in the quarter and they decide on a test that they want to improve their grade. It really does not matter to me.

Once a student decides they want to retest, they grab a green form and fill it out and turn it in. There are two requirements to retesting.
1) They must come to a session of tutoring to correct any mistakes and ask questions.
2) They must retest in tutoring.

Some teachers I know that allow students to retest only allow them to get up to an 89% on the retest. I can see the value in that, but I allow them to receive full credit. Why put in all of that work when you can't get an A?

Here is a link to the form. I got this form from the lovely Sarah at Math=Love. She is seriously amazing. If you have nothing to do, go read her blog. She has some WONDERFUL ideas.

Request to Retest, put the ownership back of the students. Love this!:


Yellow Slips
Yellow slips are the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. I love and hate them at the same time. I found this form on Pinterest and it came from a lovely lady named Elizabeth. Here is her blog.

A Yellow Slip is a missing work log that students fill out with the assignment and the reason why it is not turned in. They then turn it in in place of the assignment. They get 4 days to make it up, after that it is a zero. The first day is 10% off, 2nd day is 25% off, 3rd day is 50% off, and the 4th is 75% off. This is our district policy. My policy is that if a student does not turn in a yellow slip in place of an assignment, they get an automatic zero and may not make it up.

Here's why I love it: it allows me to see who didn't turn work in, read their excuses, and keep track of how many points I should deduct when I do get that assignment. It's nice for me to keep track of that stuff, and when a parent asks what's going on I have the proof that their child is not doing their work. It's also kind of a shaming technique I guess you can say, which probably isn't the best way but sometimes that's what it takes to get through to high school students. They don't like to be embarrassed so maybe they'll do their homework.

Here's why I hate it: some days I get more yellow slips than actual assignments and it makes my blood boil. It has nothing to do with the yellow slip itself, just that students don't do their work. And that yellow piece of paper makes me angry. Students also use it as a way to get extended time on an assignment instead of turning it in on time. Again, not really the yellow slip's fault since our district policy allows them 4 days, but it's just the idea of it.

Here's a link to the yellow slips form.
MissingWorkLog_zps1c798a74
I must say, the use of Yellow Slips has dramatically declined since I've been at this new school. At my last school, I would get 50% or more yellow slips than homework every day and they didn't even care. Here it's a whole other ball game and I'm loving it.

I keep both forms in folders in the back of my room and students know what to do with them. Here's where they are. Easily accessible and labeled perfectly.


UPDATE:

I've since changed my Yellow Slip and Request to Retest forms. Downloadable versions are available by clicking the links.



18 comments:

  1. What is different at your new school that has made yellow slips decline?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What is different at your new school that has made yellow slips decline?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a few theories.
      1. I have less discipline issues in my classes now than I had before because the class sizes are significantly smaller. I get to spend more time teaching content and I think they understand it a lot better.
      2. Since I don't have the discipline issues I had before, I usually have more time in class to let them work on their homework and ask questions if they need to.
      3. We have a seminar class at the end of each day where they get to work on their homework.

      The kids here are wonderful and more eager to learn than kids I've had in the past (not saying those kids weren't wonderful...they were just a little bit harder to motivate).

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do you grade their papers or do they grade them as a class? I tried this last year, but had a hard time with it. We grade as a class. I like the immediate feedback, they get answers to questions they missed while the work is fresh, and I don't spend all night grading 110 math papers everyday. My problem was what to do with the kids who didn't do the work while we graded? If they sit on the room, they hear answers and watch me work problems that other students (who completed the work on time) missed. If they go the hall while we grade they either never turn it in because they still don't know how to do it (those who actually attempted it, but didn't finish due to questions) or they get into trouble (8th grades + no supervision = something stupid WILL happen). sometimes the group that completed the assignment was smaller than the ones who went to the hall.
    I love the retest request! Thank you for including both samples and explanations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I grade papers on my own, but I only have 30 students as opposed to 100. When I did have a lot more students I did a couple of things to stay on top of grading while also giving immediate feedback. I counted homework as completion only and put the answers on the board and students checked their work as a bell ringer. Then they can ask me questions if they needed to when the bell rang. I then would give a homework quiz that was 5 or so questions and would grade that either as a class or on my own. This helped the kids see what they needed to work on and helped me see how well they understood things that day before I moved on to something more challenging. I would always be prepared to either review further if I needed to or move on to the next lesson, depending on how well they performed in their homework quiz. I usually would also let students retake one quiz per week if they felt they could do better after they had more practice (this was on their own time of course). I usually counted the homework completion as 5 points and the quiz as 5 points and put them in as one grade in the grade book. That's the method I found to work the best. It does however take time away from the lesson and practice. I hope this helps! Thanks for reading.

      Delete
  5. Hello! Where did you get the black and white folder organizer for the "Missing Work?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mardel! I got them on sale for about $5 each I think. They're called filetastics and they have a lot of different options. Love this place! I'm fortunate enough to have one close by but they have a website you can order from.

      Delete
    2. Also, Target has them every year in their back to school section.

      Delete
  6. Do you use yellow slips for students who were absent?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried to and, for some reason, I could never get them to fill it out consistently. Maybe because they were so stuck on the idea that they only filled it out of their work was late, and absent work really isn't late work? I'm not sure. Also, this just uses more paper if you do it that way. I'm not sure if that's a big deal or not, but it may be to some. I hope that helps!

      Delete
  7. I loved your ideas! I use a similar request to retest form, and last year was the first year I used it. My favorite things about it were that I had a place for a parent signature and the caveat I added in that reminded the student that if the new grade was lower, I would enter that grade as a replacement for the original grade. It might sound mean, but I teach high school and in previous years I'd experienced too many students coming in after school, asking if there was any failing test or quiz that they could replace with a retake...and when I told them, for example, Physiology of the Respiratory System, they'd just sit down and take it. As in, 2 minutes ago you didn't even remember that you failed that test and now you're going to take it with 2 weeks having elapsed in classroom time (by now, we've moved on to diseases of the digestive system) and no preparation? A waste of their time, because they bombed it, and mine, because I had to locate a copy of the appropriate test and then grade it. Never good results. The Request to Retest form eliminated that problem. Also, I keep the forms and when Mom or Dad wants to know why Junior is failing I can pull out the forms...with their own signatures. If the student forged the signature, Mom can see that too. Have you considered limiting your yellow papers? As in, maybe give each student 4 papers per semester? Or whatever you feel appropriate. You could "buy back" the unused yellow papers from each student and credit that student with extra points on something...or enter them into a drawing for something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm actually going to change the formatting of both of these forms for next year because my class culture has changed since I moved schools. Next year, I'm going to give my students the option of doing either a retest to earn up to full credit or corrections to earn up to half credit. I think that will encourage them more to reflect and look over their tests and see what kinds of mistakes they are making. I like the idea of including parent signatures on the retest form so they are more aware of what is going on. As far as yellow slips go, if a student turns in more than one in a week I call their parent. I really like the idea of having a drawing for students that don't turn in yellow slips. I'm going to have to do that next year. Thanks for your ideas!

      Delete
  8. I have a question for you. I want to implement the missing work log this year as I think it is a great idea but I do agree with you that it would be frustrating to continue to get that form instead of the work itself. Two of the student to want to turn in their assignment on time what are your thoughts on the missing work log plus the missing assignment so it's much more work?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have a question for you. I want to implement the missing work log this year as I think it is a great idea but I do agree with you that it would be frustrating to continue to get that form instead of the work itself. Two of the student to want to turn in their assignment on time what are your thoughts on the missing work log plus the missing assignment so it's much more work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not quite sure I understand your question so I hope this helps. I require them to turn this in if they want to turn in their late assignment. If they don't turn this form in, I don't take the assignment. Once they turn in the missing assignment, I cut the bottom portion of the form off and staple it to their work and I keep the top form in a binder. This way I have documentation so if parents contact me about grades, I can show them all of the yellow slips their child has turned in. Also, I contact parents anyways if they have turned in 2 yellow slips in a week. I hope that helps.

      Delete
  10. Question - when you retest, do you create a new quiz/test that was similar to the old one or just give them the old quiz? Part of me wonders if they'll just memorize answers, but at the same time, if I require them to show their work to get the full credit, that shouldn't be a problem, right? What have you experienced?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never tell them what I'm going to do. Usually I just use the same test, but I tell them to be ready for anything. I think that has helped them avoid memorizing answers and actually doing the work. Hope that helps!

      Delete