So after reading some blogs, and reviewing some feedback and suggestions for some of my comprehension packs, a question has come up a few times. “I wish this pack included a book test.”
Now, normally when I see a suggestion, or an “I wish” as a part of feedback, I quickly try to think of a way to incorporate this part of the resource into my pack. As an example, someone asked for more lines for answers in my Chocolate Touch Pack, and voila! another version was uploaded.
The answer to this question ” Will you be adding a book test” is No. The reason really is that my vision for my resources, the types of lessons I share, and the way I teach does not include book tests. In fact, if I am totally honest, although I include a page of chapter questions for each chapter, I don’t even actually use these questions with every chapter, every time.
So how do I know that the kids “got” the book? I talk to them. I listen to their discussions. In fact, the “Find, Mark, Discuss” question located in many of my packs is often the one directed question we answer, and often not in writing until the end of the book. In fact, my overall “assessment” when I taught third grade and used The Chocolate Touch in my classroom, was the question “Was the Chocolate Touch a blessing or a curse?” If you ask this question throughout the story, collect evidence as you go (find, mark, and discuss prompt), and then look at how students responded, you’ll know whether they “got it” or “not”.
I just feel like book tests are a lot of pressure, and are not a natural part of building readers. We can do a lot more by asking them to discuss, and answer questions. For some teachers, book tests are an important part of their reading block, and they’re not for mine.
My goal in this little journey of mine is to share my approach, share my resources, and share little successes (and activities that go well) along the way.