Reflection: Rigor Summative Assessment: Biomes Unit Test - Section 2: Testing Policies and Rationale


Although some teachers would disagree with allowing students to use their notes on a test, very few of my questions can be answered strictly from the notes.  Almost all questions require a degree of processing and critical thinking to answer.  So even though there may be pieces of the answer directly in the notes, finding the answer requires the students to connect those pieces themselves. 

I usually say the following at the beginning of the test, "The good news is you can use your notes, the bad news is you're going to have to use your brain too."  Again, especially with so many ELLs, I don't want to overburden their efforts to use their knowledge to answer questions with the need to memorize too much academic vocabulary.  Ultimately, I'm trying to assess their understanding of the content, not their recall of somewhat arcane vocabulary.

In a perfect world, I would prefer students to not use notes and instead memorize content, but it's been a reasonable compromise in my practice to allow the use of notes on tests considering my student demographics.

  Open notes tests? For high school?
  Rigor: Open notes tests? For high school?
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Summative Assessment: Biomes Unit Test

Unit 5: Biomes
Lesson 7 of 7

Objective: Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the content in the biomes unit by completing a test consisting of several multuple choice questions and a short essay.

Big Idea: The information we've learned so far allows us to make an educated statement about biomes.

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