Quiz Retakes Formerly Known as SBG

If you've read my blog at all I'm sure you've already read something I complained wrote about SBG before.

This is my best idea yet.

For our first test in each of my classes, I allowed them to use their INB. But of course I didn't tell them this until the test started.

Some of my older students were used to me offering test retakes in former years...even though most of them never actually did them. So when they asked about it this year, I kinda felt like a butthole to say no.

Here's what I decided. They can retake quizzes as many times as they want, but no notebook. No retakes on tests, but they can use their notebook.

This has been like magic for me. Quizzes are much easier to make multiple versions of and much easier to grade. Which eliminates a lot of hassle for me. It's almost like every quiz is a formative. It shows them what they know and then they make an informed decision about their satisfaction with their knowledge.

I do it right during class which eliminates the need for students to come in on their own time and makes me feel less guilty about not having time to work with them.

It motivates studying because once they get their original quiz back, they look back in their notebook to see what they missed and why. I could never get them to do that before.

What I've seen is students asking for retakes that NEVER have in the past. Students asking why they got something wrong and arguing their thinking. Students who want to retake more than once. Students who failed a quiz improving their score to passing.  I call that perseverance.

For tests, I think letting students use their INB is more of a comfort to them than they realize. I know exactly what is in the notebook so I can choose to make my tests in whatever way I want for them to show me their knowledge. It also increases ownership of the notebooks.

I feel like tests are more a show of retention and application while quizzes are more skill based.  By students repeatedly retaking the skill based quizzes, I think they are more prepared for the application on a test.

The best of both worlds.

I do have to say that I'm not grading with a rubric which I feel guilty about but...baby steps.


  1. Hello! I am a grad student studying to be a secondary math teacher. I am almost halfway through the program and looking for curriculum references. I came across your blog and was thrilled to explore your shared lessons. Great ideas! Examples were very helpful for having an in depth understanding of your explanations. Your decision regarding quiz and test retakes will be very useful for me. The desire for the students to learn and my weakness of not declining any desire to keep trying has been resolved! Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge!

    1. Good to hear! I definitely recommend you continue to read and comment on math teacher blogs...they're the best!