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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cheat Sheets in the Classroom...Yes or No?

The above question popped into my mind when my CT was passing out a haft sheet of pink paper that had "short cuts" for transformations. She informed the students that they will be able to use this paper for the test, but she know how to do transformations in general for the MEAP test. I thought in my head, "you are allowing the students to use this cheat sheet when you know they will not be given this information on a standardized test". As I walked around the classroom when the students were working on their classwork, I noticed that the cheat sheet did help the students to get t the correct answer, but do they truly understand the reasoning behind the transformation. Or are they showing the skill of looking onto the cheat sheet for the answer, the "plug-and-chug" method.

I looked back on my education and when I was able to use a cheat sheet. I was given a "formula sheet" for Algebra 2/Trig and Calculus in High School. Thinking back, I realize I did not fully understand the material and when i got stuck on a problem in math class I looked to that sheet for the answer in one of the formulas. So did i really understand the big ideas...i would say no i did not understand.

So are we helping or hurting our students by allowing them to have a cheat sheet for a test? Do we get cheat sheets in life? But at the same time, we do get a cheat sheet in everyday is called the internet. We are able to look up any different things at the touch of a button. So does it matter if we allow students to use a cheat sheet?

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