New Fifth Grade Teacher

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New Fifth Grade Teacher

Post by smpace » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:32 pm

I'm a newly hired fifth grade teacher, and I'm concerned about developing assessments and the timing of those assessments. Before now I've only taught middle and high school English and drama.

How often should I give tests and quizzes? Is a spelling quiz once a week appropriate? Does anyone have any suggestions for alternative assessments?

Thank you in advance for the help.

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Post by bceproducts » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:55 am

Hi Smpace,
I taught 4th/5th/6th grade for several years and weekly spellinng quizzes are fine. I also recommend a weekly mini-math quiz to see if students have mastered your objective/s for that week- maybe just 4-5 questions. I always had my kiddos reading a novel as well and would give a weekly quiz of 2-3 comprehension questions on the novel (sometimes oral) to see how they were keeping up with their reading. As for tests, you might consider giving a test every month or two after the termination of a unit. I could go on and on about alternative assessments, but don't have the time to go into it all here. If you still need ideas on them, email me and I'll give you all my ideas.

Good luck!

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Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:27 am

Don't you find these tests a waste of time? The good spellers, mathers, and novel readers will do well (but I bet if you gave a pre-test they would already know the information) and get reinforcement but the poor ones will dread the tests and by grade five, school. There are a few in the middle that will be inspired to study briefly to do better on tests (but might not retain the knowledge because they aren't really using it) and you spend one valuable period on giving the test and marking it or even worse, your valuable time to mark it.

There are so many alternatives that include other types of learning -journaling, portfolios, group projects, writing exercises that use the spelling words, explorations of words, real world math problems when they are planning outings or fund raising for a worthy cause and book sharing with a notebook attached for them to put in their comments and final summing up after 5 or so have read the book and discussions of methods of learning that will help them find their way to learn, tutoring within the class to help the slower ones, presentations, science fairs, not to mention art projects that utilize concepts learned in another subject, and music to enhance a history lesson and on and on.

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