Reflection: Pre-Tests Analyzing the Theme of Popular Music - Section 2: Pretest for "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"


Students always struggle with pretests.  From their perspective, it's just not fair.  "You haven't taught us this.  We haven't even read this.  Why are you giving a test on it?" 

I totally agree with them.  I felt the same way when I was a student and was given a pretest.  It's not fair. It's especially not fair when it's not a multiple choice pretest, which this one was not.  This pretest consisted of short answer questions.   They were doomed to fail, which is exactly what I told them.  "You're going to fail.  Just have fun with it."

So it's not fair.  What it is a way to gather data to see if teaching is effective.  I'll be able to look at these pretest scores and compare them to the posttest scores and qualitatively assess how much students have learned.  In order to grade them, I'm using the PARCC Condensed Scoring Guide I created months ago.  Some students earned 0s for not addressing the prompt, and other students scored 1s.  Nobody got above that.  But it's a pretest, so what else were you expecting?

  Pre-Tests: You're Going to Fail
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Analyzing the Theme of Popular Music

Unit 8: Analyzing Ballads, Sonnets, and Popular Music
Lesson 13 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to analyze the craft and structure of a poem with a literary analysis research project.

Big Idea: The relevance of poetry is found by finding poetic devices and figurative language in the music students listen to everyday.

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