Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Teacher To Teacher: Test/Quiz Versions and End of Year Rush

Differentiated Tests and Quizzes

Do you give different versions of a test or quiz to your students ? I learned years ago, that if you give all students the exact same test/quiz, somehow, a few will find a way to cheat. But, through the miracle of modern computers and their word processing capabilities, creating several versions of the quiz/test is very simple and doesn’t take too much time. It also makes it very easy to create differentiated test/quizzes for my RSP and ELL students.

Do you have different colors of paper upon which to copy the test or quiz ? Increasingly, my school district is supplying less and less materials for use in our classrooms. For next year, I was only able to order five cases of paper to run off things for my students. With an average of 170-175 students each school year, five cases of paper will not go too far. And, when I used to be able to order color paper (pastel yellows and greens, tan, ivory, etc.), I could easily make different color copies of the different test or quiz versions. So, what do you do when you want to have different versions of a test or quiz, but only have white paper? Being a history teacher, I took a page from our ancestors books of knowledge to resolve this problem. On the American frontier, families usually turned their hogs loose in the woods to root around for food. They’d round up some hogs when it was hog butchering time and that was often a community event. So how could they tell whose hog belongs to who? Sometimes, it didn’t matter, they all shared the meat, lard, etc. on an equal basis. Or, they knew whose hog was whose by how its ear was notched. So, I “notch” my papers. One version of the quiz might have the upper left hand corner rounded, another version with the bottom right corner sliced off, a third version with no three ring holes punched until after the test/quiz, a fourth version with no notch, another with the title highlighted……etc. etc…..

End of the School Year “Curriculum I haven’t covered” Rush

Do you ever get to that last month of your school year and find that you still have some material to teach or at least, expose your students to? I usually do. In the history program used by my district, the text supplemental materials includes a booklet with chapter lesson summaries. I use these summaries towards the end of the school year to try to cover some of the material that I just haven’t gotten to, but my students might be tested upon on the Grade 8 California Standards Test. I take the summary and develop comprehension questions, usually “state test-like” multiple choice questions. After reading the passage and answering the questions, we then go over the questions. Students then use these questions and the answers to create Cornell Notes (Study Questions, Notes, student written summary. Their notes must be the combination of the question and its answer written as a single statement. They might also be assigned to create a 6+6 (Six facts and pictures the key concepts, vocabulary and facts).

Thank you for reading my blog ! I hope some of you find value in these ideas. As always, I welcome your comments !

While this is not the best way to teach a unit or section of a textbook, it can do to help cover that material when you are in a RUSH to try to cover what you haven't gotten to at the end of the school year.