07 November 2011

When to give the test

We are in a weird situation this week in NJ because all schools are closed on Thursday and Friday due to the NJEA state convention.  Combine that with election day on Tuesday (which my school is closed for due to some schools being polling locations) and we have a 2 day week.  Oh yeah, and Wednesday is the last day of the marking period.  So this week is really bizarre.

I don't like to give a major assessment on the last few days of the marking period because that is usually when everyone else gives one.  I don't see a reason to burden my students with one more assessment so I always close my gradebook a few days early.  But, as is typical this year, life got in the way.

Early in the week, I was asked to attend at district wide meeting on implementing Google Apps in all of the schools on Thursday.  This would not allow me to do my typical test review so I moved the test to Monday and the review to Friday.  Then my meeting got cancelled so my students reviewed.  On Thursday night, my son was running a 102 fever which meant he couldn't go to school on Friday so I stayed home with him.  This of course meant the review game was off, but the test was still Monday.  I emailed all of my students on Thursday night to tell them I wouldn't be in school and to tell them all of the answers for the review sheet were posted on the website.

As my students walk in today, some of them are surprised we are still having the test.  Some wanted me to push the test back to Wednesday.  I finished teaching the material on Tuesday and had them review for three full days.  Over the weekend I received exactly 1 email asking questions about the content of the test.

I am sure that some of the nervousness comes from uneasiness about the material, but there is little more that I can do to prepare them.  So, when is the right day to give the test?  How many students complaining about not being ready warrants pushing the test back?  What if one class wants the test moved, but another class wants to take the test?  Is it ok to give a test on different days to different classes?