Before I move onto another semester, I want to reflect on something unexpected from this one.
Last year, giving a test was unusual in my class because everything is so project-based. The whole pre-test/post-test thing was something I struggled with at first. I started by using Moodle to create the tests (this allowed me to access instant data and keep track of student scores) and tweaked them as I became more confident with the format.
I learned a lot from the experience that I feel has made me a better teacher. I learned how to use technology to document learning and how to formulate questions that demonstrated both retention and application. I also learned from that process how much wording matters when you are creating questions for a test. I finally feel like now I have a test that covers the material taught and will show whether students retained and can apply information learned throughout their time with me in class.
I am happy to report that students did grow. I am proud of the difference in scores from the start of the year to now. What I didn't expect was how much students would care about it, too.
When I gave my pre-test, I kept the scores hidden from students because I didn't want them to freak out about the scores. When they finished up their finals, however, I did give students the option to get their pre-test score so they could compare. Now, if it was me, I am not sure I would have cared much about it. But that is not how my students reacted.
Soon after I offered, there was a line at my desk with roughly half of the class wanting to know with one student simply saying, "I want to see how much I have grown."
It is a moment of teaching gold that I hope to keep with me as we finish out the rest of the year. Kids care about how they do. They want to grow and learn and I sometimes forget how exciting it is that I get to be the one to help them do that.
How do you handle pre and post testing results in your classroom? Do students show interest in finding out their progress?