4 Reasons Why Starting Class With A Quiz Does Not Work

Simple, Shared, Classroom Routines

During a school visit a few years ago I encouraged the staff to adopt common classroom routines to help their students be more successful. During my presentation to the staff, one teacher challenged me. He felt that committing to common classroom routines school-wide was “taylorism”. This particular teacher made it clear that he had no interest in adjusting his classroom protocols. He started each class with a quiz and felt that it motivated his students to pay closer attention in class, as well as do all of their homework. Even though the number of below passing grades in his classes suggested this tactic was not effective, he wasn’t willing to change anything.

Starting Class With A Quiz Does Not Work

I have four major issues with the practice of starting with a quiz.

No-Stakes Assessments

In terms of assessing students, at the start of class or otherwise, here are my recommendations. Borrowing the words of my friend Bonnie Nieves, “…students learn best when they aren’t being evaluated.” In other words, when you assess your students try your best to make it feel less like a quiz or test or exam. Also, pack as many “no-stakes” assessments into your lessons as humanly possible. There is no fear when it comes to no-stakes assessments. As I explain in my article on seeing classes as teams, teams need practice to get better. No-stakes assessments are those practices in education. The more practice students get leading up to a high-stakes assessment, the more likely they are to perform well and feel good about it.

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