Engaging Exhaustion – What to do after a quiz

I have always found that it can be tricky to re-engage my students after we take a quiz. With 90 minutes in class, I cannot just give a quiz and do nothing the rest of the block. Lately, I have found it really difficult to get students started up again. I have polled my students why it is so hard to get them working again when they can do such an amazing job at other times and here is what I learned:

  • Students feel mentally exhausted after a quiz
  • Students say it is hard to get started if it is a new topic
  • Students don’t want to do anything else
  • Students want to do something that is not “too hard”

I was trying to come up with different ways to get my students re-energized. While most were done and I was waiting for a few students to finish a quiz, I had students complete this little half-sheet below.


Since others were still finishing the quiz they couldn’t talk to me or each other. The topic of logarithms was something I introduced last class. I did the first problem in each row as an example to show them. The result: Success. Almost every student actually completed it without any moans/groans and it was great to discuss any misconceptions about logs before we moved on with our next topic. Students told me afterward how much they liked that I did the first one since it acted as a reminder and took away the intimidation factor. I need to find other things like this that can engage them. I could even use this to recap something from a previous day.