Our district requires us to give a final. We didn’t last year because we has so many absences due to quarantine and illness. Well, that hasn’t changed for this year but they wanted finals anyway. We always give the reason for finals as preparation for college. Some students are not planning to attend a 4-year institution and that’s ok! They don’t need that preparation. I have 2 of my own children in two different colleges and I can tell you they don’t take finals in every course. Some courses replace their lowest test score with the final, some allow you to take it if you want to raise your grade, and some just don’t have a final. So why do we insist in high school that students take finals?
The answer to that question needs to be a different blog post. For now, my students needed a final and I didn’t want them to have the pressure of another test right after Winter break. You read that correctly. After 2 weeks out of school, we want students to come back and take comprehensive final exams!?! My solution was a reflection choice board.
I provided quick (and not very good if I’m being honest) examples of each. I have since replaced some of them with student examples. The most popular choice was the meme and the second most popular choice was a sketchnote. I only had one student ask me if they could just take a test. I did not have one prepared so it wasn’t an option. I’m not sure if I will add that option next time either. I love that they looked through all their worked and picked 2 from each unit. The students really enjoyed it too. I love to read their reflections at the end as well. Most students were sincere about their responses and I think they got a lot more out of this activity than they would a test.
I know finals are probably already over for you as well, but hopefully you can file this away for the Spring.
For those who follow both blogs, I will be reposting this on Make Math Not Suck too!