Final Exams

I have successfully made it to my first spring break as a teacher! I’ve often joked throughout this year that I think I’ve worked harder and learned more as a teacher than I ever did in college or high school, which also makes my breaks and time off that much sweeter!book-sunglasses-beach_h5281

I am, however, hoping to use this time off to my advantage and finish up my lesson plans for the rest of the year (but at least this type of work can be done poolside!). When I consider TAKS testing, senior class festivities, and STAAR testing, it feels as though the year is almost over! The one thing I am still deciding about is the type of final exam to administer to my Anatomy and Physiology students. We have covered so much content that a written exam would certainly make sense. But since I have so much free reign with my A&P class, I would much rather stay true to my teaching philosophy and my vision for our A&P program, and allow the students a chance to showcase their creativity, critical thinking skills, and what they have learned throughout the year through some kind of project, experiment, or research.

I am consistently trying to prepare my students for the kinds of labs and projects they will experience in college, but am struggling to narrow the multitude of options to something feasible in a high school classroom. With that in mind, what kind of culminating projects have you done with your students, or do you think would be successful for high schoolers? Do you think a “final project,” as opposed to a written exam, will better prepare them and help them to develop the types of process and problem solving skills they will need in college?

2 thoughts on “Final Exams

  1. Good questions, Erin! I think a final project would be better in prepping students for real-life after-college activities…but a good final project that truly assesses what students have learned can be tough to create. I think you should go with your gut and plan a final project that allows students to showcase their creativity and what they have learned. Good luck!

    • In only my personal opinion, I believe projects should be used several times throughout the semester, such as web quests. It may be very difficult to create a project that covers a great deal of material and reveals a student’s mastery of that content, without the assistance of an open book, internet, colleague contributions, etc. Projects however, can accomplish great things. Learning how to “actively” learn and collaborate are invaluable tools with lead to critical thinking skills.

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