My students have many a river to cross and on top of that my PA Dutch grammar can baffle the average student. With that said, I can write tests that all will fail or tests on the same material, which all the same students will get A's. Too often us teachers see tests as indicators only on what students have learned. They are also an indicator on how the students were taught. If a question baffles many, then I need to try to teach the material differently or as a friend told me recently ~> ask the question differently.
My students would not be in my classroom if their only problem was test taking. I see this as my goal - to show them that a classroom can be a place that is not traumatic. So why fail them and have them leave feeling the same way about school. The other day in my bio class, I joined them at our communal table. I sat down at their level. I looked at them and said, "You have had a marvelous quarter. You have completed everything I have asked of you in and outside this room." It was the truth, however, I couldn't have said it to all my chemistry students.
"So now I need to see what you have learned in the past nine weeks. I really don't care if you have learned everything. I do care that you allow me to see what you have learned so I know how well I have taught you. You all have earned a fine grade from me. Don't fear this test." Then we reviewed.
The cool thing is this ~> when they are proud of themselves, I can be proud of myself.
Today my horticulture students were given a boatload of flowers and told to create something beautiful. They passed.