Friday, January 9, 2009

"Help Sheet"

Students were given a sheet of graph paper (a half sheet in most classes) on which to create a "help sheet" for the mid-term on Tuesday. Parents, this is what we grew up calling a "cheat sheet," but I prefer to not use that term!

The rules for the help sheet are as follows, and were made VERY clear during class:
1. You must write only on one side
2. You must WRITE on it, not type or photocopy or glue or any other variation
3. You must turn it in on Monday for my review. I will return it on Tuesday for the exam.
4. No late passes accepted for this assignment. If the sheet is not turned in on Monday, it may not be used during the exam.
5. Write as much as you can fit, or as little as you wish.

Though students are welcome to study with a friend or share notes, the help sheet is a totally individualized thing -- students should put on it whatever they think they will need to have during the exam, based on their own strengths and weaknesses. Some may want to copy definitions on it, some may want to have directions for writing a Response to Text. Students should consult the "Fair Game for the Midterm" sheet from class on Monday (also posted on blog), so they know what will likely be on the exam. As I said in class, the textbook will be available for reading comprehension questions, and I won't be removing or covering any posters that hang in the room.

I hope that this homework does two things:
1. Forces the issue of studying (after all, copying is one way to study)
2. Makes students examine their own strengths and weaknesses in my class in order to PRIORITIZE what goes on the relatively limited space of the sheet.