Sunday, January 20, 2013

Open-Ended Test Questions

We can't even escape test prep in Kindergarten :(. Not only do we take a bubble-in standardized test in December (which is supposed to be used to identify GT kids, but unfortunately, that's not all it's used for). We also have a 100 multiple-choice question test that the students take beginning and end of the year for me to show growth; since that's 50% of our evaluation. So from day one, the kids are taught how to answer multiple choice questions and fill in bubbles. Every week our common assessments are required to be in that format-to prepare them. However, I don't believe I can really see what they are learning that way (and I'm a bit of a rebel :). So for my weekly test, about 1/3 of my questions are open-ended. 

Open-ended questions are ones that could have multiple accepted answers-that's what I love about them! The kids are not boxed in with showing their knowledge that one way. Do they take longer to correct-honestly, yes-especially since I have some kiddos who are still struggling with writing, so I have to tag that one and ask them what they wrote. But I selfishly love seeing what they can come up with. I use them a lot for vocabulary-draw something you are "enthusiastic" about, what is something someone who is "wealthy" would have. I also use them often in science and social studies: if you lived in the rainforest, what would be different ( my favorite answer was a pic of the little boy riding an animal around-really, do you see roads for cars :)?

Anyway, long story short, I wanted to share their answers on the question about MLK. What can we learn from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Here's what they came up with-can you tell they really understand the concept?


  1. Oh my, I thought we tested a lot here in CA and in my district. That's nothing compared to what you have to do! Wow! I do like your open-ended mLK question. Good for you fellow rebel teacher!

  2. Good for you for rebelling! :) I can't imagine having to do bubble-tests with my kinders. Looks like they learned a lot about MLK. Great format to show what they know!

    Carolina Teacher