This week is the end of the marking period, and at some point in the past 8 years or so my district abandoned traditional midterm and final exams in favor of “Quarterly Assessments.” These assessments were meant to be more authentic than ye olde multiple choice tests, possibly involving projects or other ways in which students “show what they know.” However, since teachers are not ever given contract time to develop these assessments either coordinating with other teachers or even on our own, they are mostly just tests, which can be written quickly and scored quickly.

In the past I have given a test in the first marking period. I am trying something a little different this year, and I handed this sheet out to my conceptual classes today. I am allowing collaboration and looking things up. I am also allowing my students to show me their work on Wednesday and I will comment on whether or not they need to improve anything by Thursday. The B and C parts were also handed out today, and students can work on the three parts in any order.

I DO have to give a numerical grade for this. We are required to have these assessments count for 15% to 25% of the quarter grade.


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