Reflection: Perseverance Checking In: Student Self Assessment - Section 1: Announce the Test


Like I mentioned to begin, a student's favorite words are, "test time!" In my class this mostly true. I have tried to take the scary and dreaded parts of taking a test away. Most students have a preconception already that tests are hard or they believe that they will not do well on it. How in fourth grade they already feel this way, I do not know. It amazed me and I knew I had to change this ASAP.

For starters, I wanted to make sure that students started to see a test as fun. Add something positive to taking it and make it feel more special. I started to give out Dum Dum Suckers whenever students take a test. First they are small and cheap, but add a fun element to test day. Another bonus, is that they keep students from talking.

I also thought it was key to explain what the purpose of a test is and why a teacher gives them. First, I tell them that taking a test gives me a lot of information. Second, I will never give them a test and use it as a grade unless I know they know the material. If I ever give a test before I have taught them, I let them know this is just to check where they are so I don't bore them with stuff they already know. Finally, I tell them that a test is really about me and not them. A test tells me what they have learned and what I need to teach again. It let's me know what I taught well and what they need from me to make them ready for fifth grade. 

I might even give them examples to prove it. Once they understand that a test gives the teacher information, I ask them to explain to me why it would be important for them to always try their best on one. They are really good at giving me reasons after they begin to understand how and why I use them. 

The last thing I teach is a chant or cheer. When I announce to the class that it is test time, they get to shout back, "Bring it ON!" Just one more thing to build confidence and to make the start of a test fun.

  Fun Testing Environment
  Perseverance: Fun Testing Environment
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Checking In: Student Self Assessment

Unit 12: Testing Strategy Lessons
Lesson 3 of 5

Objective: SWBAT evaluate and write their opinions and thoughts on the biography we are reading and check their understanding of it.

Big Idea: This lesson lets me trick my students into thinking they are going to take a test. Instead the surprise comes when they see the first questions and realize they can answer them easily by answering with their opinion.

  Print Lesson
English / Language Arts, Writing, Reading, assessment, planning, goal setting, conferencing with students, Self
  35 minutes
test apple
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