Note: A student told me I had no right to write about this subject. I asked her if she had read my book about IEPs. If you have the same concern I welcome you to read my Best Seller, https://www.createspace.com/5309922
Today was all about testing for Biology and Earth Science. Open Book!
In many, but not all, cases I was able to work with the students to get high grades in the 90s and many aced the tests with 100s.
Unfortunately, there were students who typically score in the 40s, 50s and 60s who continued this today; in almost every case these kids thought they did really well. The Special Ed teacher in the room read the test aloud. This may have helped but the end result was still Fs.
These kids will all be able to retest but the test will be administered the same way and the results will be similar.
The higher grades…
There were a group of kids who aced the tests who are great test takers. Many of the kids, however, had 5 to 10 mistakes which lowered their grades as much as 25 points. For these kids I erased their incorrect answers and asked them to try again. Why?
I am a firm believer that testing is not always the best way of knowing how well a student understands material. The students were never given a chance to do this in prior testing teachers. They were not exactly sure what I was allowing them to do since all I told them in advance was to make sure they use pencils when writing the answers.
When they went back to their desks and reopened their books there was an obvious “spark” of added excitement and interest in finding the right answers. I was convinced without any doubt that the “spark” created a new interest in the material. I did not tell them the correct answers. This is still something they had to find out on their own!
Their new scores were as high as 100. You might ask if this is fair? I think it is since they still do the work and I was able to achieve my number one goal of nurturing the students.
The bad test takers…
I remember teaching my children when they were little. They learned the word Apple not because I spelled out the word apple or talked to them about a word. They learned the word Apple by associating it with a picture of an apple.
This makes me wonder if creating a testing system which would have photographs with questions. I am making the assumption of course that students with autism or other health impaired diagnosis, or simply students who are bad test takers, would do better if tests included associative visuals.
Please chime in.
I took a 2-day job what I thought was going to be teaching 2nd graders at North Jefferson Elementary School in Kearneysville, WV. I had taught at the school two times in my first month of subbing, once for 4th Grade and 6 days (multiple day job) for 1st Grade, and knew many of the kids and staff.
What I did not know was that I was being hired to be a floater.
When I arrived I met with the Principal who gave me a schedule for today, Monday 21 March. She explained that a special trainer was visiting the school today and tomorrow and that teachers would need cover from anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. I was 1 of 3 floaters who were hired at the school today.
My schedule for the 1st Day was:
0900 – 1000 5th Grade
10:15 – 11:15 2nd Grade
11:30 – 12:00 Lunch Room Monitor
12:00 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 13:30 1st Grade
13:30 – 15:45 Autism Room
Special Notes about this Special Day!
5th Grade was a nice group of kids but it was actually a short time since they went to Library not long after I started so I was free most of the hour.
2nd Grade had a special participant named Irene.
Lunch was unbelievable. Wish I took pictures so you could see how amazing this was.
1st Grade was also fun but the most wonderful experience of all was spending the end of the day in the Autism Room. I have had minimal experience with Autistic kids in the past but this small group was a fantastic experience.
DAILY SPECIAL – I always try to learn something when I substitute teach which I did not know before. – BAMBI was a boy. I never watched the movie and always thought Bambi was a girl. Kind of silly but a great way to break the ice with a BD kid.