Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Passive Learners

Finals are starting soon. During the last week before finals, here's the usual scenario:

I debate how much class time to spend reviewing (too little and I can't be sure they review at home, too much and they get antsy in class)
I make a list of topics we've covered
I make review sheets
I monitor class to make sure they are all reviewing.

Hmmmmm. I guess I must be part of the problem of creating passive learners. On Tuesday I had many interesting conversations with various students: "when are you going to give us review sheets, so we can study?" ... "I can't study yet, my teacher hasn't given me review topics/sheets." ... "how will I know what's on the final by myself?" ... "it's the teacher's job to give us review materials." ... Ew.

I had a little discussion with my advisory about how THEY might take ownership of their learning and study on their own. I think I'll take my own advice and give the following assignment on Friday, due Monday:

1. go over your notes from January to present and make a list of topics we've covered
2. for each unit find a relevant quiz/test and at least 3 homework assignments covering that unit.
3. make a list of the textbook sections that cover the topics.
4. make a list of the days available until finals and map out a realistic amount of time you can devote to studying for your math final every day.
5. gather everything together in a paperclip and hand in. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED ... (worth 2 homework assignments).


  1. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Wore my pretty blue crocs today and enjoyed them. I really like your blog and your thoughts. Your ideas to avoid the contribution to passive learning is good, thanks for posting it, I might do a similar thing with my classes. It's a really good analysis of how we create this behavior.

  2. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Thanks, and congratulations on your exquisite shoe taste. ... I guess this "finals studying" thing could be a first step in me weaning myself off from doing everything for them.

    Ms. Cookie