Wednesday, March 3, 2010

10 Weeks No Tests Update V

Here is how I've decided to work in Wallwisher into my daily lectures with Prezi instead of using daily quizzes or chapter tests. I use my Gatsby Prezis to lead the discussion while I have students open to a page of links to various Wall I created for specific questions.When I come to an important part of the presentation, I tell students to click on a certain question and respond to the question. Once everyone has responded, I call on students to read a response another student posted. Here are a couple of examples of what students put together.

The kids loved this. When I asked them what was good about taking notes this way, multiple kids from different classes said it was nice to "hear" from different people in the class instead of the same 4 or 5 students.  Another student said it was nice to be able to see some other ideas when he was stuck and trying to figure out the best way to start. many said they liked feeling apart of the note giving process. They were creators instead of copiers. If that is not a ringing endorsement of what I was trying to do, I'm not sure what is.

I've decided to create Wallwishers for each class so they can post questions and answers to help one another as they start to work on their final assessments. One students apologized for not reading today, but said she got the gist of some of it because she spent some time online looking up information for hr final project. Ha!

I teach three sections of American Literature, so I will need to create a separate wall for each class and for each lesson. Maybe I should have all three classes work on the same wall. Tell me what you think about that.

Lastly, I've noticed that the students are more relaxed when they don't have the looming threat of a test over their head. It's nice to have students that are a bit more calm when it comes to learning. It makes the process a bit smoother for everyone involved.

Thanks for reading and I welcome any tips or suggestions as I head into the final weeks of this experiment.

- @TheNerdyTeacher


  1. Your students are really inspirational! I thoroughly love these updates and the amazing learning that is occurring. When I have asked people to try not giving tests they always say it won't work for some reason. Happy that I can use your class as the example! I don't give tests either but I work for a private institute where that's the norm so it doesn't have as much impact.

  2. Nick,
    It is so much fun to see the outcome of this little experiment. The students seem to be getting a lot out of the test alternatives and the thinking is much deeper than it might have been on a test. With a test a student who hadn't read probably just would have headed for the cliff notes to pass the test and never would have given it a second thought.
    I like your idea of all 3 classes working on the same wall. This gives your students more depth that comes from points of view outside of their own class. It also makes it much easier for you to see everything right in one place.

  3. Nick,
    What a great idea for encouraging both thinking and writing skills. Do kids post to the wall from home or in school?


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