Before any vocab quiz, I always give a "5 minute cram time." I do this for a few reasons:
These moments, when they don't think I'm watching, can be the most telling. Freshmen are still finding their way and figuring their peer groups out, but they're smart and often don't want teachers involved in this process. I try to arrange group work and seating plans based on what I learn in these few moments.
Of course, all of this takes more than 5 minutes. It usually turns into 15 minutes, but the 5 minute warning creates a sense of urgency.
Today we have a quiz on 12 vocab words and 4 commonly confused situations. This quiz asks students to write sentences or a story about the image using all the vocabulary words listed (L.9-10.4d). We practiced this skill extensively this week, using the same words. I am hoping for positive results. I think it is really important that vocab quizzes are meaningful. I very very rarely give a quiz that asks students to match the words with their definitions because it just isn't enough to know what a words means; they need to know how to use it. These quizzes take more time and are harder, but they are best way to encourage students to actually learn the words, words that they will see in our reading, on the SATs, and in life (W.9-10.10).
Take a look at a couple of excerpts from their work.
Most students will be done with a few minutes left in class. As the last few finish, I will gauge the difficulty of this quiz from their perspective. Was it hard? Which words were the hardest to use? (SL.9-10.1)