Esteemed teachers, who would have thought that we would say the end of the 2018 school year is in sight? This year has been quite a trying one, but we soldiered on and we are nearly there. In saying this, we also need to remember that the upcoming holiday is exceptionally important. It is now more crucial than ever to rest up before the manicness that is the last term and those the dreaded marking starts.
Make sure you do all the things that revitalise your soul this holiday – spend time with the family, outings to places that are peaceful and restful are a must and of course that well deserved glass of wine and evenings out with your friends. In between the fun, make sure you also wrap your head around WHY you are giving your learners an exam:
- To evaluate and grade learners. Exams provide a controlled environment for independent work and so are used to verify students’ learning and their ability to remember the work.
- To motivate your learners to study. Learners tend to open their books more often when an evaluation is coming up. Exams can be great motivators, especially if there is a little incentive behind them.
- To add variety to learning. Exams are a form of learning activity. They can enable learners to see the material from a different perspective. They also provide feedback that learners can then use to improve their understanding.
- To identify weaknesses and correct them. Exams enable both learners and teachers to identify which areas of the material students do not understand. This is also a great method to adapt your teaching for the year and allows learners to seek the help that they need.
- To obtain feedback on your teaching. You can use exams to evaluate your own teaching. Learners’ performance on the exam will pinpoint areas where you should spend more time or change your current approach.
Once you have established all of these, your marking should go quick and without any hiccups. Top prep tip: Check through a cross-section of books – five or six – to assess how your learners across a range of abilities performed in the previous lesson. If they have produced a piece of writing, begin the next class by showing an example from one learner and critique it together. Guide your class through the editing process, staying focused on common misconceptions and weaknesses and model an improvement together. Learners then return to their own work and edit independently with this example in mind.
Good luck for the last stretch and have the well-deserved rest that is coming your way!