They Shall Study, By Hook or Crook

I made up a devilishly difficult test for my seniors. While there aren’t matching questions, the multiple-choice and true-false questions are almost unfair, and the essay section asks for two five-paragraph essays.

I had a change of heart at the last minute, as I put together the study guide. I slipped a little something else in there.

If you read this sentence, you’ll know that No. 25 is false.

For reference:

25. Soon after the Civil War, the voting rights of African-Americans were subject to systemic corruption; though these newly enfranchised voters voted Democrat whenever they could, few could pass the literacy tests or afford the poll taxes designed to keep them from voting in force.

The biggest reason this statement is false: it says they voted Democratic rather than Republican, for segregationists rather than the party of Lincoln the Emancipator.

I made this specific question ridiculous on purpose, so my students would from now on have an incentive to actually prepare for the test, or at least glance over their study guides.

This is fun. What else could I do?How about another true-false question, just in case they miss the study guide?

29. Grass is usually some shade of red. This has the same answer as number 25.

Heh. I’m really getting the hang of this. Let’s think stunts.

Did you know that if you sing “America the Beautiful” at the top of your lungs in the second half of Monday’s class, your teacher will write on the whiteboard the correct answer to No. 18?

No. 18 is pretty unfair, if only because the correct answer is Mike Gravel.

18. Which candidate had the least amount of soft money in his campaign?

Edwards isn’t in the race, anymore, and he only had a beef with federal lobbyist money. So crazy old Gravel it is.

Even in two class periods, I wasn’t sure that they’d be able to outline two five-paragraph essays. Monday’s journal topic is identical to one of the prompts, as I’ve written on the whiteboard behind the projector screen.

From the study guide:

Did you look behind the projector screen on Monday?

This was a hell of a lot more fun than writing the test. I should do this more often.

Moral of the story? Just because it’s tedious doesn’t mean it has to be.

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  1. Mike

    Just wondering, would it be possible to publish your entire feed? I’d enjoy it if I didn’t have to click through to your site when I encounter the (more) link. Any chance you’ll provide a full feed some time soon?



  2. dkzody

    Your tag has a misspelling.

    I would love to see a few of those 5 paragraph essays.

  3. The “more” tag is something I’m using more for the aesthetic look of the blog than anything else.

    Is there any way to keep something like a “more” tag while still publishing a full feed?

    Zody: “Goverment” is fixed. Slip of the finger.

    Remember: With these five-paragraph essays, I’m aiming for more quantity than quality, at first.

  4. I just got a report on my desk that shows McLane dropping 193 students since the start of school. It would be interesting to hear your thinking on the causes of this almost 9 percent drop. Right now, that is the highest loss of students for a district high school.

  5. I’m not at the helm, and I don’t speak for McLane. I know the social science department, at least, does well in the standardized testing.

    That said, there are the traditional factors: gang activity, or socio-economic status. I’m not sure that McLane has the advantage over Roosevelt or Sunnyside or even Fresno High on those usual suspects.

    Honestly, I have no idea what causes it. As far as I’ve seen it, the staff and administration tend to get along, and the students are easier to work with than anywhere else, in my limited experience. I could be wrong.

    Where could I get a copy of that report? Is it online, anywhere?

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