Monday, September 6, 2010

5 Facts

I've mentioned that there is a possibility that Dawson will return to public school at some point in the future. Even if he doesn't, he may decide to obtain a higher education after high school. Because of that I think it's very important to prepare Dawson for mainstream education, including how to take tests.

But how do you give a test over material that you do not read?

Our A World of Adventure curriculum includes a lot of outside reading on topics out of books we check out of the library. Many days he spends 15-30 minutes in Social Studies and/or Science reading additional materials. Our curriculum also does not have worksheets or written tests. I have been creating them on my own with a couple of online resources. {More on that later.}

Again, how do you give a test over material that you do not read?

My solution? .... 5 Facts.

Every time Dawson reads outside materials, I have him write five facts from that material and put it in his spiral.

For instance, he has been reading about Ancient Egypt out of library books he checked out. He has compiled about 25 facts from those books. While he was out of town this weekend I typed out all of his facts on Ancient Egypt, exactly as he listed them. That is his Study Guide. He has been told to study and know it all, and pay particular attention to dates and people.

Then I used a test-making site to prepare a test of True/False and Fill-in-the-Blank questions.

So, in essence, Dawson creates the material for his own tests. Enough time goes by between his fact-gathering and the test that he doesn't necessarily remember it all. It requires him to actually study!

Another pet-peeve of mine regarding public school teachers is their tendency to make a study guide which is the exact test they will give their students! Almost nothing irritates me more than when one of the kids brings home the test to study. How in the world does that teach kids how to study for a test? College will kill them! So my goal is to just have him study his material as he writes it, and then I'll put that material into tests that include True/False, Multiple Choice, Fill-in-the-Blank and Short Answer. He won't have any idea how the material will be presented on the test. He'll have to be prepared.

His first test is tomorrow. I can't wait to see how it goes!

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