If a few students students bomb a test, do you provide any way to get some points back, i.e. corrections, retakes, etc.? Or does the fact that there is another quiz coming soon help alleviate some of the stress of a low grade for students?
I teach in the UK and cannot agree more - we too have a heavily test-based culture. Yet there is so much research that shows that frequent low-stakes recall of information of learnt information spaced out over time leads to better retention in memory. Plus quizzing is fun whereas (for most) testing is not.
Oh, I totally disagree. I don't like unit tests--the idea of cramming everything in and then giving a test and then never using it again. All of my tests are cumulative and I often integrate concepts. But quizzes are simply not enough to challenge your best kids. Surprised you'd think otherwise.
I totally agree with you on this. Unit tests in public high school have become completely pathologized. You have to reserve time to "review," "practice," "remediate" in some fashion, deal with individual emails about it, and in public school, you also have to plan for and implement all of the extra individualized supports, plans, and guidance. So every "unit test" eats up 3-5 days' worth of instructional time. This can be used in more effective, healthier ways.
I think it's so much better to just lower the temperature and do a lot of face-to-face formative assessment and spend time actually DOING mathematics.
At my school our common assessments are summative/final exams at the end of the semester, which does mean kids freak out about something worth a relatively high percentage of their total points for the term. But if they're doing everything they need to do all the way along, it provides a cushion against the freakout. And in 8 or so years, I haven't seen any difference in final exam results, so...
I like your every-other-week quiz idea. I may have to think about how to implement that at scale.