This week, my school district is administering mid-term exams.
Yesterday, I gave the exam to my first class. I was nervous because this is a class that struggles a lot, and I have to work even harder to help them grasp reading concepts.
I had agonized over my test after I created it and got feedback from my friend, Barb, who is the reading coach at my school. She had given it her seal of approval and assured me that it was both complex (which is needed to prepare kids for FCAT) and do-able in the time allotted.
Our schedule got a bit messed up because of the problem we had with the power going out on Tuesday. This had taken away one day of review time.
I knew I needed to adjust my plans to fit my kids’ needs.
Because there was going to be Author’s Purpose vocabulary on the test, and because my students had done poorly on the vocab test I’d given last week, I decided that they would spend Wednesday’s class period making flash cards to test each other with and to study with at home.
Don’t tell anyone, but I let them listen to music while they wrote their words and definitions on the index cards I provided.
You could have heard a pin drop. They LOVED this rare treat, because I never allow them to listen to their music while they work (reading and music don’t go together, contrary to what teenagers say).
I also showed my kids the Quizlet set of flashcards I had quickly prepared. I had emailed the link to their Google mail student accounts but showed them how to pull the words up and play the review games online.
In addition, I had students come to the board to play one of the games that is automatically created with each set of words…Scatter. It’s a matching game where the words/definitions disappear when you match them properly. The game is timed.
The kids had a lot of fun racing against themselves! I even polished off my knuckles and showed them a thing or two about it it’s done. 🙂
I reminded them to study the cards and sent them on their way when the bell rang.
Yesterday, they took their test.
I was apprehensive. I worry about my kiddos and desperately want them to succeed.
After the test was over, one precious young man said, “Mrs. AuburnChick, that test was easy! My mom tested me last night with the flashcards I made in your class.”
Oh, be still my beating heart!!! ♥
Another young man told me that he had practiced his words and showed me his phone, which had the Quizlet website pulled up!!!
The kids had entered their answers into the Smartboard responders, so the tests were graded immediately.
They wanted me to show them their grades (I always remove names so they can find their grades by student numbers).
To my joy (and surprise), only two people missed any of the vocabulary!
The young man who had made the comment above missed NONE of the vocabulary!!!!
Teaching is a hard profession. Moments like the ones I experienced yesterday…the feedback in the form of students’ comments AND their test results…makes every long day more than worth it.