Ms. Emily: Apparently Quizzes are Scary

Did you know that Pluto is 35 times farther away from the sun than something, or that asteroids are made out of dirty ice?  Yeah, I didn’t know either, but these were some of the statements written down on the students’ quizzes today.  Their quiz consisted of writing down three facts for eight space subjects (e.g. three facts for Pluto, three facts for Earth, etc).  They were able to use their space notes that they wrote down during their classmates’ presentations.  Some students did not write any notes, so they certainly struggled, but for most this should have been pretty easy.  After reading some of their “facts,” I was concerned that the students weren’t really thinking about what they were writing down and were merely just copying their notes, but I was mistaken, at least for some.

Student: “Ms. Emily, I don’t think this fact makes very much sense.”

Me: “You’re right; it doesn’t.”

Overall, I was very surprised to see how engaged the kids were during this quiz compared to last week when they were working on their projects.  What is it about the word “quiz” or “test” that magically turns on the focus mode?  I also wonder if the level of engagement would have been the same if the kids were told it was just an assignment that needed to be turned in at the end of the hour.  I assume the engagement level would have drastically dropped and several incomplete “assignments” would have been turned in.  Today with the quiz, it seemed like most of the students finished.  Artwork was again a setback for some, even though it was stressed that they get their facts down first.  One student who cracks me up every time was very concerned (thankfully his facts were at least complete).

Student: “Does this look ugly? (I smile) It looks ugly; doesn’t it!”

About Emily Beck

I am a PhD student in Bioengineering at the University of Kansas and I am studying Tissue Engineering. I am interested in using nanoparticles and natural materials to create scaffolds that can assist in tissue regeneration/repair.
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