Remember the panic when you entered a classroom and saw “QUIZ TODAY” written on the board? I sure do. My mind would scramble with facts and information covered so far in class. I would madly skim my notes from the previous lessons in hopes of getting a better grade on the quiz. I HATED how I felt in those few moments…out of control, frightened, and angry for not being more prepared. I was so distressed. A change studying habits was needed. I realized if on a daily/weekly basis I reviewed the material, quizzed myself, and got my questions answered scheduled or pop quizzes wouldn’t give me a stomachache.
Over the past 15 years in working with students I’ve seen an increase in low quiz scores because students are not prepared, especially for the surprise pop quizzes. When we discuss what happened the answer is usually, “Well, I quess I didn’t understand the material.” Kids typically use the quiz scores to determine if they know the concepts and then decide how much to study further for the unit test. A lack of control and power over their education is generally the result.
In elementary school and early middle school, low quiz scores usually do not cause a child to fail. But, as students advance in grades low quiz scores do have a larger impact on the overall grade. Most students need guidance in knowing how to change this habit.
Here are some tips to help your child:
• Encourage a daily review and preview for each class. Review class notes, highlighting and adding additional notes. Another option is talking through each class, noting what was taught and what will be covered in the future. Having a syllabus from each class is helpful.
• Use the weekend to check for understanding. Assist your child to create “self quizzes” to make sure information has not been missed in the past week. If he lacks understanding in a concept, have the child email the teacher about meeting as soon as possible for a review the concepts.
It’s not productive to continually wait for a class quiz to discover what the child does or doesn’t understand. The skill of checking for understanding will benefit the child in his schoolwork and in life. Besides, who wants the angst of the pop quiz? Walking into class, fully prepared for whatever comes his way will give your child confidence to do his best.
But let each one test his own work,
and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone
and not in his neighbor.
By Megan Stone, M.Ed.
Wife to Rick
Mom of two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.