Tuesday, October 02, 2007

testing, testing

Have I mentioned that it is Exam Week at my particular school? Well, it is. I don't ever remember having an official Exam Week when I was in middle school, but that was over a decade ago so my brain cells have probably died since then and I've forgotten. Anyway, I've been giving a small bit of math test each day this week so as not to overwhelm the kids with 14 pages of comparing fractions, common denominators, multiples, factors, primes, composites, decimals, and general number overload. On the one hand, it's made my week pretty stress free and the kids like the fact that we spend the last twenty or thirty minutes of class playing Heads-Up 7-Up everyday. This will come back to haunt me when it's time to work again but for now it's doing wonders for my nerves. On the other hand, these exams are mostly disappointing. There have been a few pleasant surprises, there have been some expected disappointments, and there is a general mediocrity and complete lack of desire to learn. Let's not forget the outright refusal to read directions. This is where most of them fail: as soon as they have to read something and think about it. Even if they can read, they are loathe to do it most of the time. Reading? In math class? Is this woman crazy?

Apparently so. I gave my kids cryptograms as a fun post-test activity on Monday and they all immediately complained, without reading directions and even after 'reading' them, that it was too difficult and they couldn't do it. I thought kids LIKED codes. Well, it worked out eventually but it wasn't a fight I was expecting to take on.

1 comment:

Leigh C. said...

Good cryptogram! I think they woulda had to have some good knowledge of the way English works and some trial and error to figure it out, however. Once I started to figure out words such as ones ending in ING, I was able to get it. especially the "congratulations!" Woohoo! What a RUSH..