Ready or Not Here It Comes! First Test Preparation

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SWBAT review the main curricular concepts and practice the procedures of submitting their work for the unit.

Big Idea

The big day is around the corner and will you be ready? This lesson will provide a review of the test material, guidance on how to organize assignments for submission, and and introduction to assessment procedures.

Video: Lesson Introduction

1 minutes

Hook - 3-2-1 Biology Review Blast Off

20 minutes

Students know that at the start of each class session they need to have out their Bell Question Sheet for the anticipatory set. Students will have three minutes to respond to the following prompts:

  • What are three new concepts that you have learned this unit?
  • What are two activities or facts that you found interesting this unit?
  • What is one question that you still have from this unit?

As the students are working, they are reassured that there are no wrong answers to this reflection activity.  Once the three minutes is up, students will pair share their responses with their lab partner.  Each pair will share one response with the class and an emphasis will be placed on the questions that students have regarding the curriculum for tomorrow's test.  The concerns that are shared during this activity will guide the rest of the lesson in preparation of the upcoming assessment.



Guided Practice - Getting Organized

15 minutes

Since this is the first packet of work that the students are submitting, we will take time in class to demonstrate where each assignment should go in the packet.  Students need to turn their attention to the Packet Checklist that they received as they entered class.  The Checklist will serve as a table of contents for the student packets and lists the order that the students must organize their papers to receive full credit for their assignments. Sample of Student Work - Part 1.pdf and Sample of Student Work - Part 2.

Each Packet Checklist has the students' work divided into three categories: 

  1. Classwork
  2. Homework
  3. Labs and Activities

By allowing students time in class to organize their papers for Unit 1, there is more focus on test preparation and less of a panic in placing their work in the correct order.  Students, in general, have great anxiety in organizing their papers. The extra time allotted in today's lesson, will facilitate the students' comprehension of the procedure of submitting their work that will be followed throughout the rest of the school year.  

By categorizing the students' work it is easier to detect areas of strengths and weakness when evaluation each student's progress in the class.  It is also helpful to communicate with parents or coaches where a student may be struggling (or excelling) if the conversation has to take place later in the semester.

By rotating around the room, each student is able to ask questions or receive clarification on how to organize their packet of work.  A warning is given to students to let them know when there are only two minutes left so that each student is able to complete this task.  It is best to have each student leave the classroom with their work completely organized so they can spend their time at home preparing for the assessment.

Independent Practice -Asking Your Own Questions

15 minutes

Students are to get out a sheet a paper and title it "Chapter 1 Test . . . According to Me!"  

Students have 10 minutes to write 5 high-order thinking questions that review the content that was covered in this unit.  These will be short answer questions that require the students to delve into the content and not just guess a multiple-choice response.

A list is created on the board of the highlights for our studies:

  • Lab Safety Expectations
  • Safety Features In Our Classroom
  • Vocabulary Terms
  • Steps of The Scientific Method
  • Types of Variables
  • Types of Data (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Characteristics of Living Things
  • Tools of Biologists

Once the ten minutes is up, the students will switch papers with their lab partner and complete the student-developed assessment.  With the time remaining in the period, students will review the correct responses with their lab partners.

Sample #1 of Student Developed Questions 

Sample #2 of Student Developed Questions



Close - Cementing Our Understanding

5 minutes

This lesson began with students listing one concept or question that they still needed assistance in understanding.  We will continue the opening conversation and highlight the topics that need a little extra attention.  If there are no volunteers with questions in our whole-group discussion, sample test questions will be read aloud to help the students conceptualize the depth of knowledge they will need to be successful on tomorrow's assessment. 

For homework, students will review their Chapter 1 Study Guide, skim Chapter 1 in their textbook (Prentice Hall Biology 2007), and re-read their lecture notes they transcribed in class.  The Study Guide was assigned for homework in a prior lesson in an effort to encourage students to prepare for the test well ahead of time.  

 Ready or Not . . . Here comes the first test!