Verrrry late in getting these up (we just finished our end-of-year exams this week!), but I do want to have a record of them here, and I know some of you would like to see them. So: Term 2 exams...
Below is a peek at my 4th graders exams from last term: first the questions, and then a sampling of answers follow.
I did something a bit different this term: I printed out a bunch of questions with space for written narrations and then one sheet of paper listing the drawn narrations and other independent activities, then clipped it all together and left it on the dining table for them to grab first thing that Monday morning. (You can see the stack in that photo at the top.) I let them work at whatever pace they wanted, in whatever order they wanted. The oral narrations are pretty much all that weren't listed there--we did together during our usual naptime school block. They had a lot of fun with this format and I did it for our Term 3 exams also. (If my kids didn't enjoy writing, we certainly wouldn't be doing it this way! But if your kids do like writing, it's something to consider. :))
If you're looking for questions to use for your own exams, check out the wonderful exam page over at AO! They even include answers to make your life easier. :) (And in case you're interested: you can find all our previous exams here.)
Tell about two of these: James Oglethorpe, La Salle, King William's War, or Chief Pontiac.
Tell about the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party.
Tell about the French and Indian War or the Seven Years War.
Choose one and tell what you know about him or her: Marie Antoinette or Voltaire.
Tell what you know about Lake Pepin.
Tell all you know about Russia or the Scandinavian Peninsula from Hillyer's A Child's Geography of the World.
What do you know about the Mound Builders?
Complete the following pages:
Natural History and General Science
Describe the links of the endless chain of change that transform a grain of soil.
Tell how steam can make machines move or tell all you know about clouds.
Write 2-4 lines of a poem you memorized this term in print and in cursive.
Complete the provided grammar worksheet:
Complete your next translation lesson in Getting Started with Latin.
Complete the following pages:
Recite one selection from this term in each of the following categories: hymn, folk song, poetry, Shakespeare, Bible. (Note: we did this as a end-of-term performance for Daddy, which was fun!)
What does the county park look like in January? Are the trees bare, bearing fruit, in bloom? Are there wildflowers? Describe at least three January sights there. You may sketch if you like.
Write a haiku to tell a story from Age of Fable. (Note: We happened to discuss haikus when they came up in George Washington's World.)
Illustrate one scene from Kidnapped and write a short description.
Who was your favorite character in A Midsummer Night's Dream? Describe a favorite scene that he or she was in with as much detail as you can.
Describe how Philopoemen remained a good general until the end.
Choose a few lines from The Epistle of James to add to your Prose and Poetry notebook.
What are the Sacraments of death? The sacraments of life? Why are they called so?
Name two commandments of the Church.
Choose one rosary mystery and describe Mother Loyola's insights about it in Hail Full of Grace.
Answer any two questions about our saint studied this term, St. Junipero Serra:
-- Describe a particular difficulty St. Serra endured on his journey and how he overcame it.
-- Share something of the early life of Fra Serra.
-- Describe the founding of one of Fr. Serra's missions.
-- How was Father Serra welcomed by the native Californians?
Music Study and Picture Study
Tell about one Schubert piece from this term.
Can you name the following composition by Schubert? What was his inspiration for the piece?
Sketch from memory your favorite Corot work from this term's studies.
Select a passage from Calico Captive in your clearest voice.
Play your most recent piece for your grandparents.
What was your favorite poem by Dickinson other than the one you memorized? Share an bit or image from it that struck you.
Complete the assigned math selection.
Choose a picture from My Nature Friend to draw.
Handicrafts and Life Skills
Show something you made for Christmas to Daddy.
Make a paper star from memory.
I like to put some of the kids' responses side by side just to show how different two students' details and styles can be. This is one of the reasons I really like CM-style exams: they give the opportunity for the student to share what he remembers best rather than trying to ferret out what he doesn't. They connected with different elements from our readings and expressed themselves in different ways, but both students' answers would be considered a job well done. Exams responses are not going to all look alike--and that's a good thing! (Click to see larger if you'd like.)
:: I guessed last time that once we hit the Revolutionary Era, the kids' enthusiasm for their history questions would increase. It did! They really enjoyed this term's history readings and that came through in their written responses.
:: I prioritized mapping habits in Term 2 and found their work to be much better than in Term 1...but still not as great as I expected. (I will say, though, that Term 3 results are much improved so I will share more about that when Term 3 exams are ready to share. I think we needed two terms of this habit under our belts to start to make connections.) Map drills, on the other hand, have been very successful, as usual. But I really do privilege mapwork accompanying our geography readings to the drill form, so I'd like to have the former catch up with the latter in terms of retention.
:: Italian answers were surprisingly good (better than Term 1), but spelling was definitely a problem. I added in more Italian copywork in the CM style for Term 3 to help with some of that. We did Italian completely aurally/orally for a couple years before this, so they can definitely say more than they can write--and that showed here. I'm pleased they are taking risks and not just sticking with words they're completely sure of, though! Those results also made me think I need to include more reading aloud in Italian to translate spelling to pronunciation. I added that to my for Year 5 brainstorming.
:: Their favorite part of the exams were the creative options. I think adding a few of those to the tell-what-you-know variety makes the whole experience more fun!
Tomorrow: my Year 1 and kindergartener's exams!