We open class today with an icebreaker, recognizing "One Hit Wonder Day," and spending a few moments sharing our favorite one-hit wonders. But more importantly, we take time to recognize of a major educational historical event: it's the anniversary of the Little Rock Nine's first day of school. I share the background of the Little Rock Central High School desegregation and ask students to share how this may compare or connect with Thomas Jefferson's thoughts in "The Declaration of Independence." This serves as a transition to/anticipation set, as students relate the current discussion to their ideas of Jefferson, and "The Declaration of Independence," and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions (SL.9-10.1c).
Students receive their "Age of Faith" tests back today: Short Answer/Free Response, Multiple Choice Bubble Sheet, and a copy of the test itself. I give five minutes or so to look over their short answer responses and the feedback I provided. While students are doing this, I am setting up an overhead projection of the multiple choice test.
After an opportunity to look over their responses and feedback I ask students to focus their attention on the multiple choice items.
We read through the test, item-by-item, a different student addressing each question. Since they now have the correct answer in front of them, I ask each individual students how they came to the answer they did. This will give us a chance to discuss test-taking strategies, and I have certain strategies I want to discuss: process of elimination, paraphrasing, using prior questions to form later understanding, but a look at the students' process also provides skills I may not have thought of, calling on the students to qualify or justify the strategies they used and make new connections to test-taking strategies based on modeling in class today (SL.9-10.1d).
We use test debriefing because it allows students the opportunity to think about their thinking, and ask themselves why they chose the answers they may have. This use of reflective metacognition is intended to grow the students as learners, internalizing both the material and the skills needed for success in critical reading (and in test taking) The test now serves as a learning tool, not just a learning assessment. By debriefing on the test, students can examine how the items are worded and what information is assessed, looking for strong evidence of what the test explicitly says as well as inferences required to succeed on it, an future multiple-choice assessments (RI.9-10.1).
Given that many of the test questions used are the property of Prentice Hall and McDougall-Littell/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers, they are not included here.
Students return the tests and bubble sheets. They may keep their short answer responses.
As a wrap up/exit slip, I ask students, "What strategy did you usually use on this ("Age of Faith") multiple choice tests? You may keep this anonymous."
Since I am introducing exit slips for the first time, I want to establish writing routinely for reflection (W.9-10.10). This also provides me with a glimpse of who "guesses," and who approaches questions systematically. Anonymity hopefully ensures honesty, as I want to see if students prepared for this test or got lucky on their responses.