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newteacher9's Message:

When I give reading quizzes over books read in class, I try to make them based off of analysis rather than just students knowing the basic information that happened. Today I gave a quiz over the first few chapters of Gatsby. To give you some context, we listen to the audio in class and discuss it. I pause at least once on each page to discuss the characters and characterization and all of that.

Unfortunately, my students are doing extremely poorly on a quiz. Here's an example question:

Part I: Quote Identification and Analysis (5 pts each)
A. Identify the character who is speaking.
B. Explain the story context (speaking to whom; where are they?)
C. Analysis Ė EXPLAIN how the quote connects to a theme or to character development.
1. [Because of my fatherís advice,] "Iím inclined to reserve all judgments . . . and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.
Character speaking: ___________________ Story Context: _______________________________ __________________¨ Analysis:______________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ ____________________________
_______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ ____________



Is this quiz too hard? Students are not doing well and many of them are complaining that they don't remember quotes. My reasoning is if they know the characters, they would know where these quotes are coming from. We also discussed many of the paragraphs these quotes came from during class, but as we all know, students don't always listen.

Any feedback? I'm feeling like a failure this week and don't know what to do.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
whipsnake 05-12-2018 07:36 PM

I always focus on conflict when I teach a novel or a play. I think you could ask students what the primary conflict is that each character faces. I explain to students that conflict is always precipitated or catalyzed by external concerns--something or someone that heightens an internal response in a character.

Themes generally don't become evidenced until the end of a narrative, although theme can be detected earlier. I would ask students about major ideas that can be associated with characters.

I also investigate the effect of setting (time and place) and how setting affects characters.

I also discuss irony in great detail, and students can generally really get into sarcasm, and situational, dramatic, and tragic irony. Ask students to discuss in class and then give a quiz.

Gatsby is loaded with symbolism. I haven't taught it in twenty years, but the lights off at a distance that Jay sees at the end of the dock is a good question to get students thinking about as is the sign on the billboard. I forget the name of the product. Make your quizzes follow what you discuss in class. A successful score on a quiz is a great way to keep students motivated.

tmbg 02-21-2018 01:44 PM

I hope they do well!!!

newteacher9 02-15-2018 06:56 AM

I had my students practice using clips from movies and TV shows, so I'm looking forward to seeing their next quiz results. I appreciate all the feedback and support!

tmbg 02-02-2018 04:00 PM

Maybe you could model it with an easy example like from a TV show that they are all familiar with or even a children's book....then let them try it on their own with the novel

tyrex 02-01-2018 05:40 PM

How much have they practiced these type of questions as classwork? Do they know how to relate a quote to a theme or character development? Have you as a class identified any themes yet or do the students also need to come up with that?

If you are just in the first few chapters I think these questions would be a lot harder because they are just beginning to know the characters and the themes might not yet be apparent.

Maybe try having them do some of these questions right after they read that paragraph. So you do one together where you model a good response, and then they do a few more with groups or pairs as they read the chapter. Then as a quiz or a check-in give them quotes from similar points in the chapter and have them do the analysis.

I teach remedial HS ELA and my students could get to the point where they could do this, but they'd need a lot of scaffolding first. Are your students generally low or at grade-level?

MrHistory12 02-01-2018 05:12 PM

I don't think the quiz is too hard. I wonder if maybe like a lesson or reminder on doing a character web during the reading may go a long way and turn them into active readers?

newteacher9 02-01-2018 08:50 AM

When I give reading quizzes over books read in class, I try to make them based off of analysis rather than just students knowing the basic information that happened. Today I gave a quiz over the first few chapters of Gatsby. To give you some context, we listen to the audio in class and discuss it. I pause at least once on each page to discuss the characters and characterization and all of that.

Unfortunately, my students are doing extremely poorly on a quiz. Here's an example question:

Part I: Quote Identification and Analysis (5 pts each)
A. Identify the character who is speaking.
B. Explain the story context (speaking to whom; where are they?)
C. Analysis Ė EXPLAIN how the quote connects to a theme or to character development.
1. [Because of my fatherís advice,] "Iím inclined to reserve all judgments . . . and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.
Character speaking: ___________________ Story Context: _______________________________ __________________¨ Analysis:______________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ ____________________________
_______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ ____________



Is this quiz too hard? Students are not doing well and many of them are complaining that they don't remember quotes. My reasoning is if they know the characters, they would know where these quotes are coming from. We also discussed many of the paragraphs these quotes came from during class, but as we all know, students don't always listen.

Any feedback? I'm feeling like a failure this week and don't know what to do.




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