Day 123: Testing Disaster?

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Mean: 79.4%.

Mean: 79.4%.

Today, three of my classes took the unit test on kinematics. Knowing that I zoomed through projectile motion, I minimized that topic on the test. You would have thought they’d spilled blood today, the way the kids reacted. I didn’t actually witness any crying but I’m sure tears were shed.

By way of background, my test averages usually come out 85-88%, so this wasn’t too much lower. My lowest scores are usually in the 60s, though. I usually have a handful of 100s, too. Not true this time out. I saw more people in the middle. One class scored about 5 points below the overall average, so they’re looking at a class average of 74%, which is horrible for them. I don’t have a clear picture as to what happened with that class — my fault or theirs?

In terms of mistakes, I saw kids completely disregarding the order of operations while solving for a variable, assuming constant velocity vertically, and messing up the acceleration due to gravity in vertical motion (thinking it’s positive when the object is moving up and negative when the object’s moving down).

So, was it a testing disaster? Nah. Was the test tough? Yes, but not too much more than usual. Do the kids see that? Nope. What will I change next year? More frequent quizzing on the concepts. Onward!

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