Mastering the basics
Today there were 25 students in my classroom after school until 4:00. I did a review of how to combine sentences, and students who were there were able to complete the review and then re-take the recent quiz. Some students in the room had failed that quiz, and they had been invited to stay for this session. Others in the room had 95%, but they wanted to "make sure" they knew how to eliminate run-on sentences, and retaking for a chance at 100% was worth the extra hour of school today.
Some teachers don't believe in this idea of re-taking a quiz or test. I used to be very "teach and let teach" about this sort of thing, but I've come to see that allowing students to simply fail a quiz or test and NOT doing something is unconscionable. With the ease of the internet, it isn't much work at all to find extra reviews, slideshows, and videos to support the students' learning.
I'm not saying that students shouldn't learn to study the first time around. However, I am advocating for those students who might need to hear the material a second, or third, or maybe even fourth time, in a different way. I don't give the same quiz or test, but rather an alternate version, so they aren't simply remembering the questions. Rather, they are finally reaching "ah ha" moments--just not at the pace most other students did. And that's ok.
I'm proud of my after school crowd today. Every single student scored above an 80% today after an hour of remediation. We still have to keep working to make sure that this extra help "sticks," but I'm optimistic!