Slice of Life Challenge #17: Sharing student slices – surviving the Social Studies Test

The Slice of Life March Challenge is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers
Tuesday morning, second period, the sun is shining outside on a beautiful Spring-like day, are here we are, taking Mrs. Smith’s Social Studies test….
First: She talks to us…“So, remember that history is about telling stories and learning from them…your answers should have facts and dates, but also details about the people in the events – what were they like? what influenced them? how did people react to events? Can you make connections to other historical events we have studied this year? Make you writing interesting, kiddos, have fun writing and make your answers fun for me to read!”
We look at each other in disbelief, she wants us to have fun?! She wants us to make sure SHE has fun?! Teachers are so weird.
Next: Here come the tests…woah, four pages! I’m not gonna have time for this!  But, wait, shes talking again..“Okay, kiddos, here we go! I know some of you are getting ready for a nervous breakdown, so hang on before you do. All the essay questions are up front – there are questions within these questions, so read each of them and number these questions so you know what to do  – each gets a paragraph.  The political cartoons and the maps are at the end – do these last. Name and date, PLEASE! Good luck!”
Holy moly…okay, deep breath, here we go.  She’s sitting down with a teacher-dude book and turning on the classical music…it’s SO beautiful out! Will we get to go out for recess? Forget recess!! I may not be alive for recess after this test..okay, here goes…
Then: “Time check, guys, you should be on that third essay now, getting towards the end.”  She’s watering the plants now…putting the kettle on for tea…teachers! Argh!!!!
Followed by: The bell! WHAT??!!  We’re not done!  But wait, we’re here next period too…great…NOT!  “Okay, guys, stand and stretch, then keep going…I’ll give you a chance to move around after you’ve turned the test in… ”  Yeah, if we’re even able to….
Finally: Alright, so this looks good let me…“Check it once, check it twice..”  Check it chicken soup with rice!! It felt good to call THAT out…she’s smiling, looks happy with us, why?? Teachers are SO WEIRD!
At last: So, I guess it looks good to go…name? check! date? check! Good…that’s at least two points I know I’ll get for sure…here goes, where’d she move the in-box to this time? Hmmm…funky new in-box, nice new plant with a kinda pretty flower thingy…and hey – THE CANDY JAR! Yum…that was a hard test, maybe we can take two? She’s looking right at me, smiling, shaking her heard and mouthing: ONE!  Okay, okay…settle down there Mrs. Smith!
Survived…now I get to slice about this:
Friday Slice of Life  #14:
 Tyler : O MI GOSH, This was a big, big, big, big, big social studies test. I got so tense I felt like my sweatshirt was like a steam room, and I was wearing it. Mostly every single question was an essay question to me. I was so overwhelmed. After the first question, I thought, “Hey, since I studied, I will get a good grade”.
I got to a good start until the 4th or 5th question, I was “DEAD”. I felt good when Mrs. Smith kept saying nice things to keep us going, and that made me push on. On the last question, I felt so close to officially putting down my pencil. And, then finally I had completed the test. I felt SO proud.
  • Mrs. Smith: You did it, Kiddo! Love the bit about the steam room sweatshirt.
  • Emma: Yeah, I felt exactly the same way. Great slice Tyler.
Isha Slavin: Slice of Life #14
Taking Our Humongous Social Studies Test

My heart was pounding against my chest as fast as a hummingbird flaps it’s wings. My lips quavered as I glanced at the giant stalk of packets.The night before the test, I barely even studied (I was very busy)! Now, I would have to take the test “without any exceptions.”
The test started out okay, I guess. But I only knew a handful of stuff about the War of 1812. When saw how much I had to write about it, I practically fell off my chair! My boggled mind was going to explode any second now. So I filled in as much as I could, and moved on.
When I got to the part with the cartoons, I was practically sweating. Word by word, I started to write what I could. I looked on the last page to see what the bonus question would be, and what I saw gave me a heart attack! There was no bonus question! I frantically searched the page, and at the end, I just sat there, instantly feeling completely futile. There was no hope left in me.
Well, at least we had a party today, where we actually had food (the last time we had a party in the A.M. class, no one brought food or drinks. All that was there were empty plates and cups!). And I think I learned a very important lesson with this experience . . . always make sure we get bonus questions on our tests next time! I also learned that it would help if I studied more! <<<

  • Luke : That was a really tough test. You did a great job of showing your nervousness.
  • Joshua : That was a really good slice, and I had the same feeling!
  • Mrs. Smith: Hmmm..interesting. I definitely got a sense of your anxiety, Isha – but you had cause to be anxious.
  • Anne : Great slice! You gave lots of details how you were feeling.
  • Christine: I agree with you how it was a tough test, but it is good to have these tests to prepare us for the future. I loved your opening line because you said “My heart was pounding against my chest as fast as a humming bird flaps its wings.”
  • Catherine: I really like your first line about the bird. great job!
  • Emma : You pulled me in too. I really can feel how you felt during this test.

3 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge #17: Sharing student slices – surviving the Social Studies Test

  1. Your kids do create some entertaining writing. They are also give good feedback in the comments. This is a fun peek into the student's mind. Thanks.

  2. The fact you made the test 'doable' is terrific, Tara. They always have to say how hard it was, how nervous, etc., but I bet they did well & learned a lot in the process about taking a hard test. I love that the one student liked that you said nice things during the test to keep them going. Sweet! And their commenting is so good. You've given them good examples I know & now it's paying off. Hurrah! Good luck with all the evaluation, which I know is coming.

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