I organized this year’s trigonometry final according to theme. The sections of the final were:
- Vocabulary [synonyms, examples, descriptions, comparisons]
- Equivalence [simplifying expressions, factoring expressions]
- Functions [linear, quadratic, exponential, trigonometric] and Graphing [linear, quadratic, sinusoidal; domain and range]
- Interpreting Graphs [distance vs. time]
- Solving Quadratic Equations
- Exponents and Logarithms
- Angles and Trigonometric Values [sine and cosine; deriving the values for angles in quadrant one, providing the values for other standard angles]
I find I’m a big supporter of the cumulative final, even and especially for students who struggle with long-term retention. How else will they train their minds to hold on to things? I’m an equal proponent of intelligently designed cumulative finals. My final this year was not a test designed to congratulate those with natural retention and punish those without it. We spent time throughout the year, plus a good chunk there at the end, building student retention of important skills and information, making my final an opportunity for students to take pride in having actually learned things.
Not that my final was a cake walk. The expectations in the test were high to match the value I intended it to have.