by Panamalai R Guruprasad
What are weekly tests? These are tests that are given once in a week to assess children's understanding of lesson concepts taught during the week.
Weekly tests are usually administered during the lesson, not after completing it.
Children's performance in weekly tests helps in identifying difficult areas which are not understood by children. This may be a diagram, description, explanation or even 'putting words on paper'.
To assess pupil's understanding we use these 4 methods.
Most classrooms in the world are multi ability ones. Handling a multi ability classroom is not easy. Added to this is the number of kids in classrooms in the developing world particularly in regions such as Asia, Africa, South America, E. Europe and the Pacific Rim. The problem is compounded in countries like India where the teachers are predominantly females and find it difficult to take kids' work home due to household chores [though there may be exceptions].
We see many kids doing their homework by simply copying from their classmates. Sometimes homework is done by the parent [as I have myself seen].
Though projects can be assigned on pedagogically sound principles, they require much planning and implementation with ample scope for prediction and experimentation. Hence they cannot satisfy our short term objective ['Have the kids understood the term 'energy' before I move on to teach 'conservation of energy'?]
Unit or monthly tests are given only at the end of any lesson/unit; these tests measure the achievement level at the end of teaching whole lesson/s. Once the lessons have been taught in full, it is usually not easy to get back to square one to re-teach.
After all of what we have seen, weekly tests are the only means to assess pupil understanding during the course of a lesson. Any bottlenecks revealed in the child's test performance will help the teacher to redesign teaching learning methods 'then' and 'there' before it is too late for remedial action. Weekly tests benefit the child as well as the teacher. One test a week keeps the problems away for ever and ever.
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