Students fill out a Practice Packet.
Students are quizzed on verbs in a circular nature over a period of days. For example:
- On day one, the students are given slips of paper and the teacher chooses two or three verbs from the first page of the packet for the students to complete within a short period of time.
- Students generate the typical verb chart, beginning with (1) the verb in the infinitive form and (2) its meaning, and then completing the chart with (3) subject pronouns and the (4) correct conjugation. This is done for each verb on the same slip of paper complete with the student’s name and date.
- When time is up, students trade papers with their partners and pull out their practice packets to see how their partner did. If a partner was able to produce the verb chart–complete with the (1) infinitive, (2) meaning, (3) subject pronouns, and (4) correct conjugation without any spelling mistakes–the verb is then copied (not by the original student, but by the one checking for accuracy) onto the Quiz of Life packet marked “REAL” supplied by the teacher.
Note: Besides writing his/her name on the “REAL” mastery quiz, no student actually ever writes on his/her own test. Other students verify their answers and copy them for them.
- Answers that are copied onto the “REAL” packet must also include the initials of the student doing the copying along with the date.
- Partners reveal to each other which verbs were accurate and copied, and which ones will need to be done again.
- “REAL” packets are returned to the teacher, along with the small slips of paper.
- Practice packets go home so that students can study for the next day’s verbs by studying the next page in the packet.
Note: If a student did not correctly produce a verb, the following day that student must do that verb plus the two or three new verbs.
Also a student that produced the verb wrong incorrectly, by being a copier of another student, has a chance to write that verb correctly simply by copying for someone else.
Initially, the whole practice may take some time. But rather quickly, students develop habits and speed up as knowledge solidifies.
Yes, it can pile up. But it doesn’t have to. Students should be able to study one page of verbs each night, come in the next day and be ready for any of those verbs.
The small slips of paper can also be taken–at any time at random–as quiz grades. Yes, not only are mastery quizzes helpful in acquisition of knowledge, speed, and accuracy, they can also be a great boost to students’ grades by offering them the same material to count as both a series of quizzes and a large test.