Final exams are today and tomorrow!
I modified one of the College Board’s practice exams to cut out the material we haven’t addressed yet and fit into a 90 min period. I also added a released free-response question from an actual test. My students have been struggling with what a good “explain your reasoning” response looks like, so I think I’ll put together some anonymous responses to those questions, and ask students to score them using the official scoring guide next week.
After school yesterday, it was fun to talk to some students who came in for help. The students who came in were generally eager to share the ways they think about concepts and the connections they are making. One student in particular started out feeling overwhelmed by the course, but is feeling extremely confident going into the final.
I’m not particularly excited about my 9th grade final; its a pretty standard written, comprehensive final. In the future, I’d like to move to a 9th grade final that emphasizes the practices of science and engineering, maybe borrowing some ideas from Kelly O’Shea. I might start working on that for my 9th grade finals later this year. If I can get to something that embeds the science content meaningfully and is easy to grade quickly, I might even be able to get some of the other 9th grade teachers on board. In 10th grade, our students take a state science test where the only 9th grade material that appears is the science and engineering practices, which suggests that’s what we need to be most certain students are getting from our 9th grade sequence.
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