We’re reaching the official end of the fall semester this week, so the title of this post is definitely misleading. It’s more like: What Tests I’m Proctoring This Week. My two-hour exam will cover M.U.G. Shots, literary terms, vocabulary from Words on Wednesday, poetry terms and analysis of a poem, analogies, and a short argument essay based on one of the S.A.T. prep articles we studied in class two weeks ago.

Sure, it’s a brain-drain of an exam and will take them the entire two hours, but it’s not actually too difficult for those who’ve kept up with their bell-ringers and studied their class notes/handouts. Disorganized students always need to snap photos of a meticulous friend’s notes or come hang out with me at lunch to recopy old slides, but I tell them they should have every answer to my final in their binders, barring the essay. They just need to know that material.

The exam is worth 15 percent of the semester grade. I’ve found that 15 percent is a good value because it’s big enough to matter, but no so big as to swing things too wildly in the grade book. The final really just pushes those kids who are riding the B-/C+ rail onto one side or the other.

Monday
No school in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Tuesday
Discuss the content of the final exam, offer advice (which most of them will likely ignore – shrug), and help students calculate grade scenarios. Since I’m not a math teacher, I use this teen-friendly grade calculator to help them figure out if their target grade is possible.

Play vocabulary review games.

Wednesday
Final exams for periods 1 and 2. (At my school, students are released at lunch time for the next three days, giving them time to study for their next round and giving teachers time to start grading those end-of-term exams.)

Thursday
Final exams for periods 3 and 4.

Friday
Final exams for periods 5 and 6.

Basically, they’ll work hard during the week and I’ll work hard over the weekend. Fair enough. Teach on, everyone!

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Hi Laura, I was just wondering, what vocab review games do you play in class? Thanks!

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  2. Hi Eng10Santos! Because my class calendars are pretty tightly packed, I don’t regularly build and use vocab. review games in class. Of course, we stop and point out our words as we come across them in text, but review games happen outside of class as HW, primarily via Quizlets that my students have set up and shared with classmates. On Quizlet, once a vocab. list is added, kids can choose a variety of different games to play on their phones/tablets/laptops as review. It’s cute, a bit tedious, and effective. Hope this helps! 🙂

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  3. Okay thanks! But when you DO have vocab review games in class (like you mentioned in this post), what games do you play?

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  4. Oh, Santos, I see! I was confused, not realizing this week’s post was the one leading up to final exams. Sorry about that. We don’t usually play vocab. review games throughout the semester, but since the final exam includes a bunch of vocab. materials we do, indeed, review those as time allows on the day before the final exam. My classes are in love with the Flyswatter Game, which I explain in some detail here: https://laurarandazzo.com/2015/05/04/swat-teams-are-the-fun-fix/. For the vocab. version, I just switch out the character names in the example in the blog post with vocab. words. Good times… 🙂

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high school English, Uncategorized

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