Just gave my science class a "practice" test on the digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Also, a little cellular respiration thrown in for good measure.
Turns out - they are not quite understanding what I am putting out there :).
I had some kids that I know never pay attention and I was surprised they even got a few answers right. However, some of my most engaged students still don't understand some topics.
I am so glad we had this practice before the real grade-wide test in two weeks. Now I know that I need to slow waaaaay down!
I am also going to work on one page note sheets for them that explain some of the big concepts we have been working on. They are still learning how to take notes during class and I think being able to take something home and look at it will help.
They are also allowed to use any notes in their notebooks on tests (the idea here is that there will not be a lot of fact questions, but understanding questions). This is a policy that the other science teachers in the building have instituted and since I am the new kid on the block I am following.
In my previous classroom students would never be allowed to use notes. When I first came to the school the students complained that I was too hard, but after a few months they were rockstars on all tests and quizzes!
So, what do you think? Does it help kids to have their notebooks as a security blanket or does it stop them from really learning? I really am curious about this - I don't care what they do as long as they actually learn.