Sunday, April 30, 2006

Scan-tron machines, free parking, finals, pencils, bonus, and Einstein.

Hey, what happened to all that great weather?  It's FREEZING out there!  Pouring down rain and super windy and cold; my least favorite weather if I have to go outside in it.  My newly-planted deck flowers had better not die, you hear me?
It would be nasty outside today, since it's still the weekend and I have outdoor flower-planting to do.  Tomorrow, when I go back to work, it'll probably be warm and beautiful.  Or still raining and windy and cold; each is hard to deal with when going to work.  Especially when you have to park kind of far from any door.  However, I park for free, so I'm not complaining; I'm just saying.
One of the many, many, many things I adore about my job.  Free parking.
Tomorrow begins Finals Week.  In spite of what people may think, teachers do not really like just sitting there watching students write.  Teachers would much rather be actively teaching.  I hope I can stay awake.  If I find myself starting to droop, I'll get up and walk around, even though it makes test-taking students nervous.  Well, that's how I always felt, anyway.
I do not have to worry about such things as text-cheating, for reasons you can probably figure out from previous posts.
I hope they remember to bring pencils.  Scan-tron machines don't know how to read anything but a #2 pencil.  The students were all reminded, and I put the reminder on our class website, but just you wait.  Half of them will trot in with either a pen, or nothing at all and ask to borrow 'something to write with.'  Some of them will be ready and prepared, and a handful of them will amble in late and say "What, we've got a test today?"  And some, of course, won't show up at all.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Scan-tron machine.  I love it because it makes grading those multiple-choice tests so easy, and I hate it because it encourages departments to use multiple-choice tests for midterms and finals.
Multiple-choice tests are not my favorite kind, can you tell?  Even when I was a kid, I was so out-of-the-box that I could rationalize almost every choice as being correct "if you looked at it THIS way, or THAT way, etc." 
When I have students who do this nowadays, I cultivate them, for they will go far if they are not crushed by the thumbs of standardized educational conformity.  How lucky we are that Mozart and Einstein and Edison did not have to take standardized tests. 
Besides, with a multiple-choice tests, a person could walk in off the streets and take it, and get lucky.  I much prefer giving essay tests and short-answer tests, for with those, the student who did not read the material or come to class or study or do the work or participate can't luck into the answers.  Yes, I am that mean.  They're a bitch to grade, which is why many teachers shy away from them (shame on them!) but oh well.  I will give the test I was told to give. Because I am a good girl.
I also give bonus questions so people who paid attention during videos will get extra points, and those who slept through them won't.  Tomorrow's bonus opportunity:  "Give an example of a conditional statement."
If only they were to access the class website, they would know the question beforehand.  You, on the other hand, have all the information you need right here on this page, don't you.
I'm going to go put on some socks now.  It's cold in here.
That fickle Indiana weather, I tell you, it's not anything you can tie to.  Unless you're talking about variety.
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:30 PM | |


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