If a student isn’t meeting mastery expectations in my classroom it’s because they are missing foundational skills. Unfortunately, 2/3 of my students fall into this category, so I plan ahead of time that there will be students who need to go back to previous years’ standards… and learn/strengthen things they should know how to do before attempting my content. I give a NCQ (Note Card Quiz) prior when I’ve taught a new concept. It contains four questions: two on the front and two on the back. (I have students label their cards the same way so that I can grade them quickly since I’m always looking in the same spot each time.) Each question is targeting a specific skill. My Formatives are set up to build from foundational to test-level problems. The NCQ is graded and if the problem is worked perfectly, I draw a huge over that problem. Otherwise, I highlight errors. I then sort the cards based on checks and errors. I conference with students 1 on 1 or in a small group, going over and reteaching based on the errors. Since my Formatives, are building, those with checkmarks are allowed to ‘skip’ that specific assignment… kind of like ‘testing out’ of a skill, so they can work on problems closer to the DOK of what is expected on the the test.
My curriculum runs like a slushy or a snow cone… parts of it are solid and parts are fluid. I teach in a particular order and there are ‘hard’ deadlines to take a test. However, students are able to keep practicing and retest as they are ready. In that way, each student has their own ‘pace’ for learning. Students can retest anytime prior to the week before final exams.