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!

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high school English, Uncategorized

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