Graded tests, what do you do with them?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by heavens54, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Oct 23, 2010

    Do you keep them for parent conferences in their file or do you send them home? I have been keeping them, but now I am wondering if that was the better plan. HELP?

    :help: :help: :help: :help: :help:

    And if some parents complain about this, what should I tell them? I am a first year teacher in a small school, so don't have much collaboration or direction in these matters. This will be my first official parent conference event.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 23, 2010

    What grade level?
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I send them home, but sometimes I require a signature. This might work for you because then they come back and you can file them.

    I would let parents know that you use these assessments to help the students to see their growth throughout the year and help you to make decisions about reteaching concepts. I keep all the student writing done in my class in a folder. No one has ever complained that writing doesn't come home...
     
  5. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    I teach high school. I return tests as quickly as possible. Students are to keep them in their class binders. I tell them they are a study tool for future tests, especially midterms.
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    All tests are sent home for a signature. Then, if it is an test I am putting in their file, then I go ahead and do that; if not, I send it home on Friday with all their work that I send home from the week.
     
  7. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I send home packets of work once a week. There's a top sheet parents sign, then I file them all year.
     
  8. jenneke607

    jenneke607 Rookie

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    There is no right answer! I tended to keep most of the work in class portfolios. (The kids had several file folders with their names on it: one for math, one for reading, one for writing, one for other work, and one for behavior and communication. I sent home 'weekly evaluations' that had to be signed and returned the following Monday, so I kept every evaluation in the portfolios.)

    The advantages:
    - I always had lots of work to analyze.
    - I could collect lots of data for differentiation.
    - I could monitor growth better, and had fantastic parent-teacher conferences.

    The disadvantages:
    - A few parents did complain that they did not get to see enough work. I would try to include test scores on their weekly evaluations, but this wasn't a lot of information for the parents.

    Sometimes I would make xeroxed copies of the tests so that there was a copy for me and a copy for home, but this was time consuming. Three years ago, I decided to do some more data analysis in math and tracked student's progress on 3-5 standards on each assessment. The students and I graphed this and I remediated/extended as necessary. (I'm not explaining this well right now, but if you're interested, I can right an extended response later.) I would then send home the data on the standards, because it was generally only one sheet and I could copy them very quickly. (Just feed it all through the top!)

    Another year I made little slips of paper that had:
    student name: ______
    date: _______
    assessment/score: _______
    One area of strength:
    One area in need of improvement:

    I tried to do this quickly for every child. It helped me reframe my thinking! It lasted a few months, but I found it kind of collapsed during times when I has more stressed. Oops!

    Never found a perfect balance for parent communication with those tests, though. Some parents were really happy, and others would have preferred to have every test in hard copy.

    I was generally open with the parents, saying things like "I am experimenting with different data collection techniques right now so that I can best support your children. I would like to hear some feedback from all of you. Do you feel like you are getting enough information about your child's progress?" Try to let them know that while you are eliciting feedback, and would like to incorporate it into your practice, it is not possible to follow the suggestions of every individual parent. You will try your best to work in partnership with them, not bend over backwards. ;)
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I teach high school science too. Our subject cluster uses the same tests and we are very protective over them. So the tests do not go home with students at all. Tests are used class after class, semester after semester. Answers are placed on scantrons and I keep the graded scantrons in my filing cabinet for a couple of years.

    Unfortunately, we have seen quite a few siblings come through the program who turn in their older brother/sister's projects and such. Even with grades on them! So we do have to keep a close eye and prevent any cheating.

    Parents have told me that they do not like our methods at all. They say that they want to go through the tests with their kids and help them learn where they went wrong. I invite them to come in before school or after school and look at the tests. I encourage my students to do that all the time. So far only one student and zero parents have taken me up on it.

    I understand where they are coming from. I'd like to see some of the missed questions my daughter had on her bombed test last week. But IME, few parents will be able to explain cytokinesis or electron configurations to their children anyhow.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm a HUGE believer in learning from your mistakes. My kids can't do that if they don't get to see where they went wrong.

    I make up a brand new test for each and every class. I return tests within 48 hours.

    If I have reason to suspect that threre's some sort of problem with a kid's test, or if I think I'll need it to show parents, I Xerox a copy before handing back the original.

    But I don't see how kids can learn from their mistakes if they're not allowed access to those mistakes. Then the tests become all about the grades, not about learning.
     
  11. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    I return all my tests and let the kids keep them. I allow retakes on all my tests, but I make 3 different versions of each test to cut own on cheating. If they want to retake, they have to show me the old test and I give them a different version.
     
  12. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I teach high school.

    I send all tests home for a signature. When they return, I file them to discuss at parent-teacher. Before the exam, I give the tests back for the students to use as a study guide.
     
  13. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I send all recorded papers home on Friday. Parents sign a paper which states they've looked at the papers and they keep them. I also post grades on Edline every Friday too, this shows all the students averages in each subject.
     
  14. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

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    :yeahthat: except my school sends papers home on Wednesday.
     
  15. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    When I was in the classroom I kept all tests filed for conferences and gave them to the parents.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I used to offer test corrections for students. They could come in and correct their mistakes and then earn back 25% of their missed grade.

    If I could convince the other teachers in the group to get on board with it (I wasn't able to for a full year and at the beginning of this year) I *might* do it again. But last year, when I taught elsewhere, it was a nightmare.

    I do believe in mastery. And I know that as a student myself I wanted to go back and look over missed items. But I have only had TWO students out of hundreds that ever came in to look over their missed questions just for the sake of learning. Last year about 10% of my students came in but it was only after parents got involved. That was a huge issue for me and made me rethink the policy.

    I would LOVE to go over the test the next day IN class. I have hit too many obstacles with doing that though :( I did it once and it took a full period to go through all of the questions. I had to find a place for the students who were absent for the test to be. Not something I could do regularly unless I find another method.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I put my own answer key up on the document camera. I go through the answers kind of quickly; anyone who needs a more thorough explanation can come see me for extra help-- and many do. It typically takes me under 10 minutes to review a test.

    Those who were absent are getting a different verison of the test anyway-- either another classes' version or a "makeup"version if I'm very ambitious. And you need to show work on my tests, so seeing how I solved a problem on the 3rd period test doesn't give an automatic advantage if you get the 8the period test as your makeup.
     
  18. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    The parents were OK with this? What was the rationale that you gave the parents? If a parent complained, what did you tell them?

    I do save them to go over the tests. I find the top missed questions and go over those with the class. Then I ask them what they would like to know on the test and what would they like to see solved.

    My grade is fifth. The students have seen the tests, we have discussed them and gone over the answers most missed by the class. I can see that the parents might want to see them, but what will they do with the data?
     
  19. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I send home weekly spelling and math fact tests.

    Once a month, I give a writing "test" - 20 minutes with no help. I copy that for their portfolio and send the original home.

    Once each nine weeks, I give a reading test and a math test. I save those and go over them at conferences.
     
  20. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I send all tests home. Parents are able to look up grades online or contact me if they have questions about a test grade. I don't require anything to be signed.
     
  21. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    I use an interactive notebook so all of my tests, quizes, projects , and rubrics are glued into the notebook so parents can always look and see how the student is doing. It is SO nice at conferences becuase I can say well the failing test has been in the students notebook and you signed it. Also helps with proejcts becuase its proof the of how long the student knew about the project.
     
  22. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I go over all questions on each test the day I hand them back, which is usually the day after the test. We are able to go through most questions very quickly, but some do require a little more detailed explanation. As always, I ask students to write the explanations for any problems in their math journals - especially if they got the problem wrong.

    Graded tests are returned to the students to take home, use as study guides or throw away.
     
  23. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Danny's Nanny, what do you mean by writing test? Conventions? What does this test look like? Multiple choice?
     
  24. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Oct 25, 2010

    We do a squiggle test - I give them a paper with a squiggle on the top, and writing lines on the bottom half and back of the page.

    They have 5 minutes to turn the squiggle into a picture, then about 15-20 to write about it.

    I am looking for ideas, conventions, and spelling mostly. I then put a sticky note on everyone's test when I grade, and jot down notes about strengths and goals.

    I really like this because so much in class writing is with assistance, or edited later on, etc. So what parents see is the final draft. This gives me a monthly record of how the kids are growing as writers, and what they can really do independently.
     
  25. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    So you draw a squiggle line on a paper with writing lines and say, "turn this into a picture of your choosing and then write me three paragraphs about what it is"? Do I have it right? Do you give them any other instructions to go along with it? And this is graded? Thanks.
     
  26. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Basically - make the squiggle a picture, and then tell me what you can about it. I leave it very open - last time, 1 kid wrote a song, another wrote a poem, some described it with details, some made it into a character for a story. I don't give a certain length requirement, but if someone puts down 2 sentences (and it's not a kid for whom 2 sentences is a struggle...) I will hand it back and ask for more.

    We don't give letter grades, so all my grades are E, S+, S, S-, N.
    I take 3 grades for it - ideas, spelling, and conventions.

    Last year I just drew my own squiggles. This year I found a book of them at Target in the dollar aisle (when they had teacher stuff in August)
     
  27. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I have seen it both ways...I have seen all the work done that whole week(mon-fri) stapled and sent home in a folder with a grade on each paper then required a signiture at the top along with the conduct for that week!! Then I have seen a progress report with each test/thing for a grade and what it was and what child made. Teachers always told parents they could come in to look at the individual test anytime and ask questions!!
     
  28. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Oct 26, 2010

    I teach high school. I just hand the tests back to the kids. Most of them put it in their folders or binders, some throw it away. I've never had a parent ask to see tests, but then, there's like zero parent involvement at my school so...
     

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