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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 4 - The Geography Pre-Test

I'm not really a big believer in the "pre-test - post-test" revolution, but we are in the process of conducting a pre-test on the Geography section of our 7th grade studies.  The test will not count as a grade for the students, and they are not expected to do very well.

The test is considered a diagnostic tool to demonstrate to teachers what the students may already know.  The teacher can then focus the available time to the material the students don't know, and commit less time to the material students do know.

It may sound negative, but all of our material this year should be new to nearly all students.  Not many 13-year-olds are going to self-study the countries and landforms of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.  Nor will they independently dive into the major religions of the world.  It is unlikely that they will be familiar with the ethnic groups of these areas; now will they understand the environmental issues of specific regions.

Therefore, we will have to discuss most items in detail anyway.

Students will likely be guessing their way through the pre-test...and, believe it or not, THAT IS WHAT I THINK THE VALUE IS!

This week, students will have to guess, be frustrated, and wonder "how will I ever learn all this stuff!"

In October, when we conclude our Geography section, we will give a post-test.  The students won't be guessing then - they will know the material.

I have not scored any pre-tests, but I am estimating an average score of 15-20 questions correct out of the 100 questions they will answer this week.

In October, I predict an average score of 87-93.  That kind of dramatic improvement goes a long way in demonstrating to students that they can learn lots of material in a short amount of time.

That's something I can support.

Posted via email from rrmurry's posterous

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