I have 192 students, of those, 129 are 8th graders (the rest of 7th grades).
I gave both grades a test on Wednesday and have just finished grading. If you follow me on Twitter (@Our_Fairy_Tale) you have heard the sad play-by-play.
Our history department has a goal of every student earning an 80% on each quiz/test.
7th grade: Yaaay!
They received a study guide due the day before the test. We played a review game. During the test, everything had to be off their desk and put away.
Results: 50/63 students got above an 80% Ten were in the 70’s and only 3 under 70%
8th grade: eeehhh.
They received a study guide due the day before the test. Only a 1/3 out of all periods completed it. They had two days of review in which they could write on one officially stamped piece of paper notes to be used during a test. They also played a review game (well, most of them).
Results: 37/129 students got above an 80%. About 40 or so were in the 70’s, the rest under 70%.
This is horrendous! I now have to use tomorrow (No Tardy Party = most of my students gone 1st-5th period), Monday and Tuesday (official Utah state DWA English testing = half my students gone each period) to reteach this unit and make those below 80% retake. Those who got above an 80% will watch HBO’s John Adams.
My junior high gave all of its teachers a print out a grade distribution summary from the past two years. Guess which grade both years had the most amount of F’s and D’s? The 8th graders, amounting to about a 1/3 of the entire 8th grade student body receiving those deficiencies.
It is really hard to teach when students don’t care about learning.
What are some ideas you have to differentiate learning for different skill levels, yet making it inclusive and interesting and engaging and motivating?