TEACHING; Final Destination

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I had them take a pre-test at the beginning of the year. I distributed a review sheet last week. It’s been on the board. We’ve talked about it. I’ve drummed facts and concepts into their heads every way I know how for the past 36 weeks. now its up to them.

Typically- some of them have been fretting all night as if their whole grade and their entire future depend on these these 27 questions (they don’t). Meanwhile some of them looked at me with a vacant expression asking “Test? What test? There’s a test tomorrow?” And a few others won’t bother answering even one question, convinced they don’t know any of it despite participating in class discussions and (albeit reluctanltly) sitting through 48 minutes of Civics every morning this year. They’ve resigned themselves to the reality of summer school, so why even bother.

So how important are should tests be? Are formative assessments more valuable than summative ones? How can we get some kids to take tests more seriously while easing other kids’ irrational anxiety?

What tests & trials do we still have to face as adults? What’s the best attitude to have for any tests and trials?

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One comment

  1. tedmallory

    Hoping to start a discussion on this one; yesterday I heard that a principal at another school received a phone call from a parent actually chastising him for having tests the last week of school because they felt that the last week should be stress free and all about fun. While I empathize with kids with test anxiety and I’ll be the first to weigh in on the debate over too much emphasis on standardized testing- what has happened to us that students (& parents evidently) don’t care about finals or post-tests anymore? Shouldn’t we be accountable for our learning? Or is school just about socialization? Is the last week of school just a rite of passage? Is it really supposed to be all fun and no pressure?

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