Saturday, October 4, 2008

great success

the words of borat basically sum up my latest formative assessment of my kids.

i spent a month on unit 1. much longer than i had planned, but i wanted to teach and reteach until enough of them had success in the beginning that they would continue on in my class with confidence. and it pretty much worked.

i tested them this time on the same topics, but the exam was at least twice as hard as the quizzes have been. half of the questions were regent's type ones, and all the other required them to construct things, analyze and explain data, and write sentences giving examples or justifying their answers. it was really really hard. and not only did i get some good results, but a lot more students passed even on this level.

-28% of my kids scored under a 50, compared to 36% last time. and considering 22% of my kids are special ed, and i have others that just won't do a damned thing no matter what, that's pretty good.

-19% scored between a 50 and a 64. I think I can move these kids up eventually. actually quite a few of them were kids who passed the quizzes but couldn't handle the intensity of the questions. with practice, i'm sure they'll get better at it.

-28% scored between a 65 and an 84. among these are a guy who got a 20 and a 30 on the first two quizzes. he came to me the morning of the test for a cram session during homeroom. he ended up getting an 80. i hope this encourages him to pay more attention since i told him i will not be teaching him during homeroom again. this group also includes a girl who got a 40 and a 33 on her quizzes. she told me she doesn't know how she passed the 8th grade, as she has never gotten higher than a 43 on a math test in her life. she used to have mad attitude with me but she suddenly mellowed out this week. i found out that she was pregant and got an abortion on monday which might be the reason she has been giving all the teachers tons of problems. well anyhow she worked with me a lot this week and actually did her homework and she ended up with a 65, her first pass in math ever. i think this will mean a lot to her and i hope she will work as hard as she did this week every week.

- finally, 25 % of my kids got over an 85 on the test, up from 18% last time. this includes a girl who started off with a 45, got a 67 on the last quiz, and now got a 92.

-an added note, only 4% of my students scored below a 40 which mean that even those who are in my lowest bracket aren't too far off from passing.

given that this test was regent's format and reading/writing intensive, i'm pretty impressed.

so indeed, it was a great success. now if i only had a plan for the next unit...

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