Because it’s the first week of school and teachers need to understand where students are in order to better teach them, we started taking a short reading test today. But instead of just throwing a test at students, I decided to make this a learning experience (as everything should be!). This took us two days.
- Warm-up: First, we did a quick freewrite about what we find difficult about multiple-choice reading tests. Some big themes were: confusing answer choices, two choices that are the same, boring passages. I acknowledge these are all real problems and that testing is not the greatest. However, we had a discussion about why testing is sometimes important (college admission, making sure you know the material, critical thinking, testing on the job).
- Before jumping into our pretest, we took notes on what it means to summarize (which is more simple than annotation). Here is the notes sheet: Introduction to Summary (L2). The teacher notes are included on the second page. Summarizing as you read keeps you alert and helps you remember the passage better.
- Then students received the pretest passage, Pre-test Engllish I. Then, students read the passage, summarizing each paragraph and marking their confusion.
- When students finished reading the passage, they received the English I Pre-Test Predictions sheet. Instead of simply jumping straight to the multiple choice, students need to predict their own answers. This technique will prevent students from spending too long focusing on the wrong answers.
- Next, students completed the English I pretest on a Google Form. We chose to do it this way because even though the English I NCFE is on paper, the English II EOC is online. Also, it’s easier to gather data on a computer, which is what this exercise is all about! If you were absent the link is here.
- Finally, when students were done with the pretest, they could look at the memoirs available for book club reading. Here are the options: Book Choice Card.