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tchrk26 tchrk26 is offline
 
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Summer Reading Tests/Reader's Workshop
Old 08-19-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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I am new to sixth grade and very excited/anxious to start! When I was hired, I asked if the students had summer reading and I was told that they did not. However, I just found out that they do in fact have summer reading. They have three books to read, a project to do on one (Everest Book One:The Contest) that they will present to the class the first week and tests on the other two (Al Capone Does My Shirts by Chaldenko and Among the Hidden by Haddix). I have been doing lots of research on Reader's Workshop this summer (I read The Book Whisperer and began In the Middle by Atwell) but now I need to give these students a test on the books that they prepared notes for over the summer. Something I really hoped to stay away from this year. Does anyone have any ideas how I can approach this without giving them a standard multiple choice comprehension test? I want to make sure they are tested in some way because they put in the work over the summer expecting a test to happen in the first week. I'm open to anything! Thanks!


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not tested
Old 08-19-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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Our summer reading was not tested; they had a portfolio to do. But I see you point about not wanting to START school already with a test, yet that is what they are expecting.

How about a VERY short true/false section - maybe ten - to give it the LOOK of a typical test, but then a series of quotes from significant parts of the novels. Ask them to explain in a short paragraph what was going on, then ask a critical thinking question. A simple rubric that they get in advance would allow for quick hollistic grading.

I'm thinking that maybe you could give them five quotes and they could choose which three to respond to, or something like that.

This would actually serve another purpose in that you'd have writing samples from each of them too. In addition, after they'd been graded, it would be a good opportunity to discuss theme, which should have been reflected somewhat in their test responses.
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Yuck!
Old 08-20-2011, 05:43 AM
 
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Where I live, I have never heard of the students having to do any kind of work over the summer. Who assigns this? Does it vary by teacher or is it something that's mandated by the district or just the school? I'm very curious!

I think you're probably on the same page as me, because you said you don't want to start out the year by testing them on books they've read. What a way to take the fun and love out of reading!

So for the one book, they were already assigned some sort of presentation. So you don't have to worry about that, I guess.
I like what the other poster suggested. A few T/F questions. Then some deeper thinking type questions. Maybe have them make some connections. What did they like/dislike about the book? Favourite parts? Personally, I really dislike questions that simply test kids' memories of books' content. How does that tell us anything?

I'm assuming you're not using this for grades. So you have an opportunity here to get some really good data at the very beginning of the year. Especially with the deeper thinking type questions.

Good luck! And after you're done with this stuff, move on and have fun teaching your kids the love of reading!
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Great ideas!
Old 08-20-2011, 08:15 AM
 
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Thank you both so much! I love the idea of having the students choose from significant quotes to explain and maybe say why they are important to the story. Also love the idea of students making connections to the text because that's something that all good readers do. Honestly I'm not sure who assigned the summer reading. It was posted in the library section of the school website, but I can't imagine the librarian choosing these things for the teachers to have to create and grade. Hopefully I'll be able to change it for next year so that the students are able to choose their own books to read over the summer. Thanks again for the help!
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