Redo to actually learn

“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” -John Dewey

In my land of Standards-Based Grading, a chance to redo ANY assignment is available and encouraged. Even when a term closes, I let students redo their work to improve their year-long grade.  I know that many would argue that this system creates too much work to reassess multiple assignments throughout the unit/term/year and that only some assignments should be allowed to have additional amendments.

I feel that these experiences help a student actual learn and master the material and I tell the students that I don’t have a deadline on learning.  I stumbled upon a recent post about how the most important part of preparing for adulthood is redoing what is needed to be redone and how various educators think about and implement do overs.

I have a template that I give to students so they are able to reflect upon and correct their errors.  While I have been tweaking with the template to make it more “kid-friendly” for many moons, the content has essentially remained the same.  Students are required to talk frankly about and reflect upon the assessment as a whole.  Then they dive into specific questions that they want to try again: they record the problem number, redo the problem, explain their errors, and then create and solve a new similar problem.  Below are parts of the template.


At the beginning of the year, there are days dedicated to learning the template and then providing time for students to work on their own assessment.  As the year moves on, and I fell the pressure to “get through” material, fewer times in classes are given for students to confer with each other and teachers over their assessments.  Instead, they are encouraged to come after school if they want to have some sort guidance throughout their revisions; but then the students lose the time with their peers to debrief and reflect on their assignments.

I am hoping that with a revamping of the curriculum and its structure that there will be more time dedicated and available for students to conference with their peers and teachers to reflect and improve their work.



One thought on “Redo to actually learn

  1. Pingback: A “typical” class | langer.kogut.math

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