Saturday, November 8, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Group Quiz

I recently went to a workshop in which I learned about a great strategy called "group quiz."  Once I tried it, I knew it would be a great thing to share on Spark Student Motivation Saturday.

I love the group quiz strategy because it encourages productive discussion.  Students are put into groups of three to four and are given a review assignment to complete (each student gets their own copy of the paper.)   They are given about 10 minutes of independent work time and then they put their heads together to discuss the answers.  There are two ways you can proceed from this point:  you can have the students choose which paper they want you to grade or you can tell them that you can pick any paper out the groups to grade.  The one paper you grade is the grade that everyone in the group gets.

The first time I tried it, I let them decide which paper they wanted me to grade.  Each group put the paper of their choosing on top and stapled the other papers beneath it.  I asked the kids what they liked about the activity and they said that they enjoyed being able to talk about their responses.   One said that it "helped me find my careless errors." (A dream come true for this teacher!!!)  As a teacher I liked that I have less to grade--although I admit that I did sneak a peek at the the ones underneath the top sheet.  Interestingly, I found that pretty much everyone in the group did the assignment (YAY!) and that sometimes the paper that they chose to put on top was not the one that was the most correct.  They fell victim to the belief that the "smart kid" is always right.  When I passed their papers back, I had them get into the same groups again and we went over the answers.  Perhaps next time a few of the less confident students (who had the correct answers) will feel more empowered to speak up.  As we debriefed, I asked one of my shyest students (who I knew had a 100% paper) what she might do differently next time and she said, "I will not give in so easily--especially when I know I am right."

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