Testing and Engagement

A frustrated Justin puts out a call for help:

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I took a testing idea from Frank Noschese and modified it with a suggestion from the lovely Sadie Estrella.  I gave them 8 problems (like and unlike fractions with each of the 4 operations) with the answers.  The directions were to show the work that justified the answer.  That was, I was testing on the concepts rather than the calculations.

In the last two problems, I gave them a fraction and asked them to come up with a multiplication problem and a division problem where that fraction would be the answer.

In my first class, 3 kids flat out refused to even attempt the test.  One girl put hers away and then, while making defiant eye contact with me, told me that she wasn’t done with it yet.  When I explained that she would not be leaving my room with the test in her possession and that if she needed to spend her lunch period with me, that would happen, she gave it back pretty quickly.

Several students left many of the problems blank and, even having the directions explained to them several times in different ways, claimed to have no idea what they were supposed to do.

Last year, I would have taken my frustration at this out on the students, but this year, it makes me question the efficacy of tests at all.  All of the kids who refused to work or left problems blank have been giving full effort for our class work for the past few days and have been doing an excellent job.  I reminded them of that and the general reply was “I know. I just don’t want to do this.”

Head over to his place to read about the entire day and offer some advice.


Offer some help.

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