Week 4 Reflection

This weeks readings stressed the importance of allowing students the freedom to use their critical thinking skills to demonstrate reading comprehension. Both Dolgin and Jago prefer summatively assessing their students by having them write essays, do presentations, or hold discussions. Jago particularly, does not see the value at all in using objective tests. I have been a proponent of using objective tests as long as the tests themselves cover the work done in class and students know what they will be tested. I do know that many students are lousy tests takers and are either bad at studying to remember facts or are just not suited for it, so making these students take tests is setting them up to fail. But i see the value in remembering some things about texts (It was Fern’s mother who bought her the doll, not her father) and still desire to help my students to learn or remember those facts. When i posted that i saw value in the objective tests Bethany asked me if there was some way for me to cover this part of the unit or lesson by using formative assessments and not wait until the end and give a big test. I like her suggestion for doing it this way and well i guess that is the whole point of this course.

2 thoughts on “Week 4 Reflection

  1. I definitely agree that remembering key facts is important if only to be a member of a reading public. (Everyone should know that Lennie wanted rabbits, to borrow an example from Chris’s post.) But I wonder what you could do to convey that you are asking them details not just to “catch” them, but to have them see their importance. Maybe objective tests have some short answers asking things like, ” Why do you think Steinbeck chose that animal?” or “Imagine how it might have changed the story if a different character had given Ferm the doll.”

  2. During my Tom Sawer and Anne Frank units I had students do many Quickwrites then Pair/Share activities asking questions just like the ones you bring up, then we’d have full class discussions about them, then a final Q&A with me to deal with any last misunderstandings anyone may have still had. This we did almost daily. And these little activities were worth points so it was like i was doing these little formative assessments everyday. The problem came at the end of the unit when my co-op told me i needed to test them to see if they read and understood the book and i was like that’s why we did all these discussions and writing activities. But i can see maybe doing a culminating assessment that takes into account the formative assessments and asks students to sum their reading by answering a few short answer/essay questions instead of an objective test.

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