Saturday, February 28, 2009

Testing, testing...Is this thing on??

All year long, I've busted my butt to get my kids to learn fractions, poetry terms, how to draw conclusions, etc., and I know they're learning things. But then, when it came to the district's quarterly tests, it was like nothing had ever entered their heads. Same scores, every time. This time, for whatever reason, they actually made small measures of progress as a class (2%, 6%, etc.) 

However, when they were taking the next day's test, I sat down and analyzed the kids' individual results, and these were the results: 
-18 of 29 kids improved
-9 kids improved by double digits
-Gained a total of 253 percentage points (adding up each individual's gain) 

My biggest excitement was when I realized that my two kids who never try or always give up got the following scores: 
-the first went from a 26 to an 80%
-the second went from a 12 to a 74%
I was thrilled!! I knew both those kids were smart enough to do it, but never tried. Needless to say, I called both their parents and was finally able to give them GOOD news for a change :-) 

The one student just decided to try on the test, for no apparent reason. However, the second one is my giver-upper. He literally refused to learn fractions. Just refused to take in new information!! He just gets SUPER easily overwhelmed and gave up as soon as he got 5 seconds in. This was the reason he ended the quarter with 41 missing assignments. He'd see how much missing work he had and, you guessed it, give up. My mantra to him for the last 3 months has been DON'T GIVE UP. YOU HAVE TO TRY. And periodically, I could get him to learn just one tiny little step here and there, and eventually he got the whole thing, amazingly. Hence, when he came to the test, he actually had a modicum of knowledge and confidence, and did well!! I was so proud.

I've also been really proud of him this week because he's finally attempting to make up his work. If he does it a little at a time, he can focus, not get overwhelmed and get it done. You should have seen his face when he saw his grades at the end of the week and realized he WASN'T failing every subject, for the first time this year! He was thrilled, which thrilled me, because he finally cared! 

It definitely felt like a "good teacher" moment. :-)  


TBW said...

That is why we teach, right? Great job!

John Spencer said...

Testing always makes me nervous. I know that I teach well. Call it arrogant, but I think I'm good at it. (One of the few things I can do well) But I worry that it doesn't transfer to a standardized test.