Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pre-Tests. Graded? Arrggghh!

Please tell me you didn't grade the pretests! Did you actually put that grade in the computer?!

Pretests are meant for gathering information that you will use to adjust your instruction. Often times you will discover that the students know very little or that you have a few who have some command of specific information from your course. Thus, adjusting the instruction so that they are not bored is good and deciding what needs to be addressed first is yet another aspect of the strategy. Someone once told me, "But if I don't grade them they won't take them seriously!" Ouch! I would suggest that you read Daniel Pink's book, Drive. It is about what motivates people. You can also catch him on youtube for a short synopsis.

How can we justify a grade on information that you have not taught...? Are you grading their memory? Previous teachers? Their parents? Wow!

If you are concerned about them taking it seriously...give them points on the next exam for completing the pretest. Say that you will earn 10 points or get out of homework free pass or a trip to the school store or a go to the head of the lunch line pass (work that out with the school)...soooo many options...use positive incentive not negative...

Pretests should not be graded and the grade placed in the grade book as a test, quiz, classwork, homework or whatever category of grade you have...Try reading Carol Dweck's book called MindSet. The closed and the growth...The student who gets a 30 on the pretest may just likely shut down because now she has a grade that may be impossible to overcome.

Please stop doing this...