SWBAT demonstrate what they know about solving problems with systems of equations.

Open-ended problem solving comes BEFORE multiple-choice! (Because, what's more important?)

43 minutes

To close out this most algebra-centered of my Algebra 1 units, I give students a two-day exam. The first day is for open-response problem solving, and the second day is a multiple-choice test. I tell students that the ordering signifies where my priorities lie, and that I hope they understand why I think the problem-solving part is more important.

There are two versions of the first day of the exam:

- Unit 5 Problem Solving Exam Version 1 sticks pretty closely to the kinds of problems students have seen over the course of the unit, and starts with a few context-free systems to be solved. I give this exam to students who have struggled during the unit, and need to show me at least the essentials of what they've learned.
- Unit 5 Problem Solving Exam Version 2 consists of a few released items from the Grade 10 Massachusetts state math exam. I've fleshed out a some additional steps for students to work through on each problem. I give this exam to my honors class and to any students who have been successful so far.

43 minutes

As I have described at the end of other units, I think that it's important for my students to practice answering multiple-choice exam questions, because for now, they remain a hurdle that students must leap on their way to a diploma and a wealth of post-graduation options. But I don't want to prioritize such structures too much. I use the free version of Problem-Attic to create my unit exams, because the site has released items from a wide variety of state exams.

I give students all of Friday's class to complete this part of the exam, and I run a quick item analysis to give individual grades. I share the details of my item-analysis process at the end of Unit 4.

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