Home > Algebra 2, General > Business Cards in Education

For those of you who utilize SBG or are considering it, I would like to share my only frustration with it and my solution for it.  I allow the students to retest before school, after school and during our one hour lunch program.  (The one hour lunch program deserves its own post.)  This means that sometimes during lunch or after school, there are 20 students lined up in front of my desk waiting to retest different objectives.  Talk about stress!  Some problems are easy to come up with on the fly and others I struggle with creating.  I came up with this solution about half way through the final semester and it definitely helped me.  The students seemed to appreciate not standing in line as long either.

I was at Target one day (my favorite place on earth next to Disney), and found the self print business cards on clearance.  I bought all of them on the display rack.  I spent a couple of days this summer creating a ‘test bank’ of questions on business cards.  I labeled them by topic and objective.  Here are some samples:  Solving Equations, Linear Equations & Scatter Plots, Absolute Value Equations, Absolute Value Inequalities.   I plan on marking a small number on the back so I can keep track of which question is which.  I keep a notecards file in my desk and when a student wants to retest, I pull out a business card with a problem.  The students do the work on their own half sheet of paper, so I can reuse the card.  I do make a note in my gradebook as to which question the student retested so if they need to retest it, I do not give them the same problem.

Ok, here is the best part.  After lunch, when 25- 30 kids have retested, my third block walks in the room and asks, “Do you have our retests graded?”  I want to respond, “Yes, during the 10 minute break I had I gave up going to the bathroom and grabbing my own lunch to grade your assessment,” but that seems harsh so I kindly respond with “No.”  I did create a master list of all of the problems and the answers and hand it with all of the restests to my trustworthy student worker and have her grade them.  I still look over them before handing them back, but this is a huge time saver.

Disclaimer:  I still make up problems on the fly when there is not a line in front of my desk or if a kid catches me in the hallway and wants to demonstrate knowledge (this brings a tear to my eye).  The business cards are a for when I’m stressed but want to allow a student every chance I can give them.

Categories: Algebra 2, General
1. July 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I really like this idea and will be on the lookout for those business cards on sale. Thanks!

2. July 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Thanks for your comment on my site! I love the idea you’re sharing here too– I unfortunately cannot count the number of times I made up a problem on the spot and it turned out to be impossible (particularly in Geometry). This is a great way to ensure that you’re only giving sound problems without stressing over them in the moment!

3. July 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve never read your blog before today! This is fantastic: well written, clear, and to the point. I wish I had your talent for brevity. Consider yourself RSS aggregated!

4. August 9, 2010 at 4:54 am

Thanks so much for this post. I’ve been reading as much as I can about SBG this summer, trying to get my head around how to implement. The retesting of skills is a bit of a concern with the number of students that I handle but I LOVE your idea about the cards – such a great solution!