One would think that this face is the worst face a student can give you when taking a test. It’s not. It really isn’t.
This is the worst face I can get from my students in the moments before collecting the papers after a test.
A little context.
For the last few weeks, I have been teaching the periodic table and periodicity. Not hard really, it’s a lot of recall and a few trends. Easy peasy. NOT
Why not? Because human beings do not generally absorb information simply by just being told. I know this, I can even relate. So knowing this and understanding that for the 22 people I have to teach this to, this whole education thing is a bore and thus not priority number one. I set out to make one of the most boring sections of my syllabus fun.
With skits and demonstrations, minimal lecturing, handouts, and practice exercises. By celebrating when the one kid in the class who hates me, the classroom, the content, the school compound, the lab and the world outside of football in general, interact with me and the class and is even leading the charge when it comes to answering the questions.
I’ve linked the lesson sections to that song that was soo successful in the previous section. Singing it in tandem with the lesson, having them relate relevant lines and explain why these lines are relevant. I’ve had them demonstrate physically the trends and reflect on the demonstrations. I’ve reviewed and felt completely justified in assessing.
I’ve even managed to get a few peeps out of the reclusive students who usually don’t answer and grabbed the attention of the new kid, who literally just joined the class last week (best believe there’s gonna be a rant about that).
So when I got that confident face at the end of the test, despite years of experience telling me to go hide under my bed and not mark anything, I still strutted confidently to the staffroom to mark.
Literally me after marking. Because despite using varying methods, having them orally review the definition for electronegativity, discuss how and why it increases up the group, having a small mountain of written evidence that they should know, that electron shells are gained down the group and that valence electrons remain the same down the group. Despite having them correctly demonstrate the ease of ionization going down the group and relating it to the trend in ionization energy. In spite of seeing them correctly demonstrate and explain the shielding effect and how it affects ionization. The vast majority of my students have told me, through their scores, that there was not enough information transfer for them to effectively navigate 20 multiple choice questions.
So now the question is, what to do next?
For now, the answer lies in an hour of sleep and a few episodes of Umbrella Academy. If anyone out there has any other ideas, please HELP.