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Students Creating Test Questions


I teach middle school students who function below grade level and who have behavior problems, all within a self-contained classroom. To be effective, I am constantly looking for ways to help my students become accountable for their learning and allow them to make choices in their education. I find that by doing this, negative behaviors decrease. To evaluate the learning of my students, I have them create their own test questions. They are given a 3X5 lined card on which they formulate five test questions on one side and write the answers on the other side, along with page numbers where the answers are found. By doing this, my students are reading, searching, learning, memorizing and formulating questions. I collect the cards and quiz the students orally by separating the class into two teams, each with one spokesperson. I allow students to use their books when searching for answers. The group that answers the most questions correctly receives one free assignment pass. The other group perceives half an assignment pass for a job well done. At written test time, students are less anxious because they are well-prepared and because they know I will use only their questions. Surprisingly, many students work hard to search and formulate difficult questions. No surprises on the test. Besides the students having great success with this strategy, they walk away with a sense of empowerment and achievement.

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