Thursday, September 11, 2008

Retake a Quiz? No problem!

I don't know why, but I changed the way I test for understanding with quizzes this year. In doing so, I found an easy way to get seniors to reread. I know, seniors, going back to the text and actually reading it again?!

We're reading Beowulf right now outside of class. Students annotate while they read and then I give them a pretty specific quiz the following class period. I tell them what to look for, give them focus questions, and share my notes that I took when I read it. Kids get frustrated every year with their low scores. They read the text, but because it's an epic poem, the students often miss much of the meaning...and certainly many of the details.

As every year, I put the reading quizzes in my Reading Applications and Analysis section, but have decided that they can retake a quiz anytime however many times they need to. It's amazing how interested they are because they know they can very quickly affect their grade. But, what I love is that they go back through the text, reread their annotations, and recount plot details as well as theme, symbols, etc. How cool!

Instead of the reading check being an 'I gotcha!' quiz, it becomes a tool for observing details and an exercise in close reading. So, when asked: May I retake the quiz again? I respond: No problem!


At 7:09 PM, Blogger Karl Fisch said...

So it's really assessment at it's best? You get an idea of where they're at, and it actually helps them learn. Sounds good to me.


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