How often do you give tests/quizzes/assessments?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ifightaliens, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 23, 2009

    I'm a high school English teacher. The curriculum is primarily based on short stories, as well as a few novels and a section on poetry.

    After you announce a test, how long do you give students to study for it? Would a "Quiz every Friday" or "Test every two weeks" be prudent? Do you wait until you cover a unit or break it into chunks?

    I had a problem last year with the students telling me that they either didn't have enough time to study, or that they had too much time and they forgot the material.

    Now, perhaps this just means that "We didn't study because we didn't feel like it" :p but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that I could use some pointers on pacing and structuring.
     
  2.  
  3. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    7

    Aug 23, 2009

    I give my students a unit plan which tells them the date of the test on the very first day of a given unit. And while that date is subject to change, it rarely does for me. My units are about 2-2.5 weeks long, so they have 2 weeks notice for each test.
     
  4. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 23, 2009

    I typically tell students 4-5 days before a test that there will be one. For quizzes, I give 2 days.
     
  5. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 23, 2009

    I try to give a week's notice for tests, but quizzes are usually unannounced.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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

    Aug 23, 2009

    I test every 2 weeks, regardless of where I am in the syllabus. (My kids know exactly what to expect on each test, so that's not an issue.) On the first day of school I announce the test dates for the year, then remind them 3-4 days ahead of time.

    I quiz once or twice a week, always announced the day before.
     
  7. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 23, 2009

    I do informal assessments daily, with a test every Friday. I think it is vital to have regular assessments. I backwards design my lessons for the week...I plan my weekly assessment first, then the lesson plans, and then class materials.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,263
    Likes Received:
    457

    Aug 23, 2009

    Our curriculum is in six units. I give a major test after each of them. I also give a quiz about three times in each unit, as well as smaller projects and papers. They have vocabulary quizzes each week, as well.
     
  9. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    13

    Aug 23, 2009

    Rachael--Do you grade your daily informal assessments? I want to do more formative assessments this year that aren't graded for completion but I am afraid that if there is no point value, then there will be no effort especially from my 8th and 9th graders.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    12

    Aug 23, 2009

    ifightaliens, I give a major test at the end of each unit. Generally, I have 3 big literature units and one major writing unit per nine weeks. Within those units, I give quizzes over chapter or individual story selections. Lots of times those focus on a specific skill: characterization, summarization, grammar, etc. The literature unit tests then incorporate all the things in the quizzes. The final draft of the paper is the major grade for the writing unit with each of the steps in the process making up what would amount as quiz grades.
     
  11. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 23, 2009

    I usually grade them, but if the class as a whole does badly I throw them out. I assume if the majority of the students bombed the exit ticket then I was the one who failed, not them. I think with teaching a content-area class it would be a great idea to give the kids a 4 or 5 question exit quiz. It really helps with planning or altering you proceeding lessons. The kids like the structure and it gives them a reason to focus. Plus, it gives you a daily grade (most days) to put in the grade book.
     
  12. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 23, 2009

    Also, on weekly assessments, I allow my kids to retest if they received less than 80%. I focus on mastery, and if my kids can identify their problem areas and study up on it, that's great! I want to give them the better grade!
     
  13. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    13

    Aug 23, 2009

    I want my kids to focus on mastery of the subject and less on grades, also but my older students (juniors and seniors) are so grade conscious and my younger students only seem to try if I am going to grade it for correctness and not just completion.
     
  14. dovian

    dovian Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 23, 2009

    I give end-of-unit tests, and I give at least a week's notice. What tends to happen over the course of the year is as they write more essays, the number of big tests goes down, so some units won't have a test at all. Frequently whatever we're doing at the middle and end of the year gets rolled into a midterm or a final instead of a separate test. Essays have at least 2 weeks' notice before the due date (and if they complain, remind them that you know that most of them will write the darn thing the night before anyway.) I find essays to be a better judge of what they learned than tests, most of the time, especially if you're teaching literary features.

    I give quizzes with or without warning (and sometimes the warning is "Boy, it would be a shame for some of you if there was a quiz on this tomorrow." Keeps them on their toes.) If I suspect they've stopped doing the reading I'll quiz, especially for novel units. If we've been doing small group reading I'll quiz, to make sure there's not just a few people pulling the weight. Sometimes I just use the 5-question true/false comprehension questions in the teacher's guide - put them on the board or even read them aloud.

    I'm also a big believer in different learning styles, so I also frequently assign projects that allow students to show what they've learned in a creative fashion, like making a Myspace page for on of the characters in Romeo and Juliet or creating a Maycomb newspaper for To Kill A Mockingbird.
     
  15. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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

    Aug 23, 2009

    Rachel,

    How much do these quizzes factor into your grades? I've been toying with this idea for my lower kids.
     
  16. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 23, 2009

    I try to keep the various assessments even- quizzes, daily assessments, projects, and unit assessments to accommodate various learning styles. I think last year I had each section at 20% with homework being the last 20%.
     
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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

    Aug 23, 2009

    Oh, okay. Do you personally grade the daily assesments or do you have the students trade and grade?
     
  18. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 23, 2009

    I usually grade them myself. I typically did multiple choice, perhaps 4-5 questions the last 5 minutes of class. However, last year I had 5th graders...so their a little young and a little bit slower than high schoolers. It didn't take me that long to grade, since I just looked for certain letters to be circled.
     
  19. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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

    Aug 23, 2009

    What subject do you teach?
     
  20. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 24, 2009

    Last year I taught 5th grade Social Studies. This year I am teaching 7th and 8th English
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. zo_ey,
  2. futuremathsprof,
  3. RainStorm,
  4. Jacob Oram
Total: 591 (members: 4, guests: 565, robots: 22)
test