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Friday, June 7, 2013

Our Exams {AO year 8, term 3}

While I went ahead and printed off AO's Year 8, Term 3 exam and did follow it relatively closely, as I went along I felt the need to customize and generalize a little. And you should too. Some trouble with past exams has been rooted in this very thing - me expecting to be able to use someone else's specific exam questions and then subsequently feeling like a failure when those questions don't happen to spark my kids' remembrance.

Recently, we've been WAY more successful when relying on more general questions (often based on discussions we've had throughout the term) which allow them to share what DID stick with them, which in turn reminds them of lots of things they thought they had forgotten. This, and we didn't follow the AOy8 schedule word for word in the first place, so I didn't use all of the questions and added a few of my own.

I have two sets of students in the same AO years, and though we do exams simultaneously, they are done very individually. Only one student is present when they give their oral answers and often I vary the question so that they aren't tempted to compare or compete; this is very important!

Observe, the evil lies in the competition, not in the examination. If the old axiom be true, that the mind can know nothing but what it can produce in the form of an answer to a question put by the mind itself; it is relatively true that knowledge conveyed from without must needs be tested from without. Probably, work on a given syllabus tested by a final examination is the condition of definite knowledge and steady progress. All we contend for is that the examination shall not be competitive. v2,p218

Here's what this year's Charlotte Mason styled exam ended up looking like:

Summarize & explain one of the parables we read this term. [recorded]
Write a poem about the life of Joseph. [written]

Write from Dictation:
"Hence it happened, either that she proposed to herself as a good end what was not such in reality, or employed means which would rather produce an opposite effect, or thought them allowable when they were not at all so, from a certain vague supposition, that he who does more than his duty, may also go beyond his right; it happened that she could not see in an event what was actually there, or did see what was not there; and many other similar things, which may and do happen to all, not excepting the best; but to Donna Prassede far too often, and, not unfrequently, all at once."
pp17, chXXV, I Promessi Sposi

Describe an episode from I Promessi Sposi. [recorded]
Summarize your favorite Milton poem you read this term. [recorded]

Grammar: (taken from Jensen's Grammar extra exercises)
Write all main verbs & identify them as V or LV. Write each noun and give its proper function: S, O, IO, OP, NSC (or PN), mod.
1. Columbus was a man of great importance in history.
2. His voyage and subsequent discovery of America have influenced all of our lives.
3. Christopher was obviously used in God's plan for this world.

Give an account of the civil war between the Roundheads and Royalists. [recorded]
Tell about the "Lord Protector" or the "Merry Monarch". [recorded]
Discuss the great plague and Great Fire of 1666. [written]
What is the difference between a Whig and a Tory? [written]

Tell everything you know about St. Peter's or Pompeii. [recorded]

Science/Natural History:
Draw a diagram of the circulation of the blood. [drawn]
Write an account of one memorable nature study you had this term in Susan Fennimore Cooper's style. [written]

Considering Nicias' character, which things do you admire and which would you not imitate? [written]
Discuss two areas of life where you were most convicted about showing justice. [recorded]

Reading (in English & Spanish):
Dad selected passages. [recorded]

Problems taken from MEP y9 lessons. [written]

Foreign Language:
In French, politely describe someone in the room. Use complete sentences. [recorded]

Picture Study:
Describe your favorite painting from this term's Picture Study. [recorded]

Recitation, Music, FolksongsHymns were performed and Handicrafts examined. :)

"The work is arranged on the principles which have been set forth in this volume; a wide curriculum, a considerable number of books for each child in the severnl classes, and, besides, a couple of hours' work daily, not with Books but with Things. Many of the pupils in the school have absorbed, in a way, the culture of their parents; but the children of uncultured parents take with equal readiness and comparable results to this sort of work, which is, I think, fitted, not only for the clever, but for the average and even the dull child."
CM in v3, p272

Javen's post-exam decompression plan... making a timeline. oh yeah. :)
See?! Exams make them want to do MORE school. Apparently! heheh.

More thoughts about Charlotte Mason style exams:
Nervous about CM style exams? Don't be.
AO Thoughts on Exams
Term Exam Year 11 (CM style)
CM Exam (Year 2, Term 3)


Celeste said...

Love seeing this peek into things to come! Looks like such a rich selection of questions--and love the photo at the end! Haha!

Tammy Glaser said...

Pamela loves exam week. She calls it the term finale.

amyinperu said...

i think we're gonna start loving them, too!
i'm starting to feel like i'm getting the hang of it finally. :)

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