Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Test

Wednesday's science test wasn't too bad. Ms. Learned Helplessness herself (this is one of my students who just shuts down when under pressure) even told me it was easy! Some of the multiple choice questions were identical to ones from previous years, with slightly different choices of answers; since we did previous years' exams for practice, I'm sure this helped them. The constructed response section had a few really tough ones and a few which the kids just weren't "in tune" with - they didn't understand what the test was asking. For some reason, even in 8th grade, my kids have a hard time with the difference between "how" and "why" for certain science concepts. There were a few questions which I would say were completely reading comprehension. One in particular followed a passage about pollution, and then asked the kids to name two pollutants that blah blah blah. All you had to do was go back to the passage and copy them down. Given that they take a separate reading test, this kind of question irritates me, but on the other hand, it's easy points for my kids, so... I can't complain, really. Overall, I think they did well. The review work we did undoubtedly paid off, and I'm not sure more of it would have helped much, so in future years we will probably approach reviewing in somewhat similar fashion. I think I will get good feedback from the test as to what topics we need to teach better. It's nice to have it behind us, and it will be even nicer to grade it next week and have the whole thing over and done.

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