In my district we have these wonderfully useful days (notice the hint of sarcasm there) where we have professional development built into the school year and we have the first Wednesday as an early out and then stay until 3:30 doing professional development. It might be nicer if there was an actual language program I could meet with and hone our skills together. Instead, we might have a speaker talking about different things we have to do as educators in Missouri. Before, it was all about the state testing. Ay ay ay
So we have these short days and I decided that since I only have 20-25 minutes with my students on those days, I should give a quick quiz. Yeah. I know, right? I should have done this years ago. Well at least earlier on in the year. I give little pop quizzes on the stories where the students have to use the language to answer the questions. However, I wanted to see how well they could do on identifying the structures and using them.
I had two parts. The top was 20 or so structures we've been using a lot this year almost in every story and matching them to their English counterpart. These were in the past tense, like our spoken stories. The second part was a story we'd gone over before and I blanked out some of the words with a word bank These were in the present like our written stories. In all, there were 32 points.
Ever since grading them, I've wanted to kick myself. I had students score as few as 7 and some score as high as 32. But how were some of them capable of scoring 7? The diversity of the grading helped me realize that I had been failing them in not assessing their understanding of the structures.
It's such a "DUH" moment too. I assumed way too much from the quizzes that I had been giving. Somehow, I figured out that there were some students really struggling with the information. What is most frustrating is they weren't letting me know that they didn't understand!
What does this tell me? More quizzes over structures and much more accountability with eye contact to students.