Final Exams in Middle School

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Brendan, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 15, 2010

    The Math and English Departments already give finals at the Middle School. Our MS and HS are connected so it's really one big department and I'm responsible for MS SS as well as HS. There's a huge dispute among the department. Some see it as too much stress. Others favor giving one but not counting it towards students grades (which I see as pointless) and others think that we should give one. I'm torn. What do you guys think?
     
  2.  
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Dec 15, 2010

    I don't think middle schoolers need to take final exams. Just stick with the regular unit assessments.

    In any event, if you're going to give an assessment, it needs to be counted for a grade.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 15, 2010

    My school is grades 6-12.

    Our middle schoolers take a 60 minute trimester and a 2 hour final. The high school kids take a 90 minute trimester and a 3 hour final.
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 15, 2010

    I was toying around with the idea of giving a major in-class essay at the end of each semester as a writing sample. That way their next year teacher can see where their class is in terms of writing.
     
  6. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 15, 2010

    We give exams to 7-8 only and it counts as a 1/4 of the grade.
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 15, 2010

    Our exams at the HS are capped off at 20%. We'd probably keep it at about 10% of their last quarter grades.
     
  8. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    693
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 15, 2010

    I am at a K - 12 school. K - 5th doesn't do finals/midertms. 6th - 8th was mixed this year. I gave my math students (pre-algabra, 6th - 8th graders) a midterm that was 30 questions and covered the lessons that were taught so far. I teach 6th grade and for History, I am only giving a Unit final. For Language Arts, a final inclass essay. The 6th grade science teacher is giving a midterm that is open notes and english is not giving a test but students did have an outside reading project due.
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Dec 15, 2010

    I'm giving semester tests in both 7th and 8th math. I am trying to decide if I am going to let them use notecards or not. Any thoughts?
     
  10. KateL

    KateL Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    2

    Dec 15, 2010

    We give benchmarks at the end of every quarter, and this week is the end of the 2nd quarter. In the science and history departments, we write our own benchmarks, so they end up being more like a final exam for the year so far. In English and math, however, someone at the district writes the benchmarks and they don't have anything to do with what the teachers are teaching right now, so they don't act as finals for those classes.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Dec 16, 2010

    The middle school I worked at last year didn't give exams, but gave common assessments every 6 weeks. The jr high in the district I'm in now gives finals.
     
  12. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 16, 2010

    We feed into a college prep school where many of the freshman go to the local university to take courses. They have to be ready.
     
  13. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 16, 2010

    I personally feel middle school is a bit too soon to be giving final exams. I think a mid-term covering the material studied thus far before Christmas Break is a good idea, especially in math where we constantly have to review and reinforce previous content. I might use that next year. This year, I am focusing on weekly quizzes and Chapter Tests to assess learning and knowledge of content.

    I have to make sure the material is covered thoroughly enough to prepare the students for End-of-Grade (EOG) testing, but thankfully, NC has finally realized these standardized tests are NOT meeting the educational goals policy makers expected. Our kids will still have to take the EOG for assessment purposes, but the scores will no longer determine whether students pass or fail the grade level.
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 17, 2010

    I teach at one of the best schools in the State....
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 17, 2010

    I don't think it's a bad thing to have kids of this age to learn to pull all their information together at the end of the year.

    Of course, it's a question of just how much those exams are worth. To reduce the stress associated with them, simply don't make them THAT important. Make the schoolwide policy that they count as ___% of the final grade, or even of the final marking period grade. So the 10% you're suggesting wouldn't make it a huge deal, yet the kids would still start to learn how to get organized and prepared for a big test.

    Some additional things to consider though:
    - I don't know whether or not your kids are tracked. If so, does each track for each course receive the same exam? (Our middle schoolers aren't tracked, but that's how it works for grades 9-12 in my school.)

    - How long would the exam be? Would they take the exams in class (my son's middle school does this-- I personally hate it, but it's an option) or during exam days at the end of the year.

    - Would there be a standardized format?

    - What happens if a kid is absent for his final?


    I'm sure I don't need to tell you, as the AP, but just wanted to float some of the things that would need to be on the table.
     
  16. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 17, 2010

    The school district that I went to was K-5 for elementary, 6-8 for middle and 9-12 for high school. The middle school and the high school were connected by the music hallway. Anyway, I started having midterm and final exams in 8th grade; they said it was to get us ready for high school. There was no few days or a week set aside for the exams though, they were given during class time.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 228 (members: 2, guests: 196, robots: 30)
test