Wednesday, March 09, 2011


My sophomores took the Response to Literature test today, and too many didn't finish writing the fourth essay in the 70 minute time frame. But, they told me how they answered the first three, rife with quotations and explanation to fill up each page provided. They felt great about what they had written, but depressed that they hadn't finished in the time frame.
The test asks the students to read a short story, anywhere from 5-7 pages, and then answer four questions including initial thoughts and questions, character change, thematic connections, and successful literature. Connecticut gives them 70 minutes. Why not provide them with 90 minutes, or really, as much time as they need to demonstrate their learning. I felt sad for them because I know what they know, and it is enough to pass the exam.


At 2:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

if it's the CAPT they'll have another chance next year.
Have to pass to graduate- or a substitute.

I hope htey continue to be prepared.

At 4:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can tell you why you don't want to give them all the time they want - they will take too much time. In Texas we allow high school students unlimited time in one day to take each section of the TAKS test. And there are always kids who waste the morning away and stay until 6 or 7 p.m. I think 3 or 4 hours would be enough for any kid to take a 60 question test. Start at 8 a.m. end at noon and send them home.

At 4:44 PM , Blogger Amerloc said...

Come on over to my house, teachj: four essays in 70 minutes? You've obviously never taught anyone to write an essay. Nor were you taught to write an essay by anyone competent.

At 4:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, you did your job, as did your student. Their efforts will shine through. In my experience, teachers, (myself included) do a poor job of holding a student to a "time constrained" test. Many of us realize that learning is not a race, and adequate time needs to be given in order for students to have success; and that not all students move at the same pace.Often, at least in my subject area, those who take their time often do better on tests. While speed is becoming increasing important in standardized testing, the learning that you and all teachers impart on their students is what is important. Rejoice in your success and in theirs!

At 4:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amerloc please explain yourself

At 5:28 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

But I knew the test was timed. I should have found a way to better prepare them for the time constraint.

At 5:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To teachj:
First of all, these students were asked to write 4 essays, Texas students only write 1. Please consider all aspects before making the rest of us teacher in Texas sound like morons.

Having said that, Texas will soon be moving from TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) to EOC (End of Course) exams at the high school level. In addition to reading short stories and answering multiple choice questions, students will be asked to write 3 essays. However, the test will take place over 2 days....still hardly a comparison of time allowed.



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