Something I'm really finding a groove for this year is writing tests. Given that I'm adapting Pre-Cal to a standards based system and that I have not done fall Algebra II in this way either, I've cranked out a lot of tests this semester. Inspired by some chemistry teachers at school that are trying to teach better conclusion writing and a nagging sense that structured writing has a place in math, I've started throwing deeper questions into the mix, where a concrete answer is the last thing I care about.

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Years from now when my Pre-Cal foundation is a little stronger, I'll probably take away all the numbers and make this totally symbolic. The prompt might also offer too many hints (you need to account for the height of the stick dude), but this is a good first attempt at this sort of thing just to see what I get. Some math teachers are content with multiple choice from a textbook test generator because it's easy to grade. It enfuriates me how lazy that is. Some math teachers brush off structured writing as typical staff development nonsense. Congrats, your students will be fabulous guessers.

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AuthorJonathan Claydon