What if your middle schooler had to verbally retell history to you?

As we struggle to teach the students facts and knowledge about history… ask yourself if that student who can pass a test, answer multiple choice questions, and match vocabulary, could do better than this San Francisco state University student at retelling the parts of history that they have learned about. (hat tip to Technology in the Middle)

It leaves me thinking again about the validity of using oral testing. I've become more fond of allowing oral responses and testing and use it most heavily during Flat Classroom and Horizon Projects — I wonder if that is why the students remember so much of what they have learned in addition to the other aspects of the project that make it so engaging.

I have one thing to ask…

if they can't tell you the story… did they understand it at all?

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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James Christensen March 10, 2008 - 3:11 am

I would very much like to use more sock puppets in class. I use oral testing, but also battle FLA (Foreign Language Anxiety) in students, so I do some written and some oral assessments.

loonyhiker March 10, 2008 - 12:54 pm

You reminded me of growing up and reading to my mother in the kitchen. She would constantly stop me and ask me to tell what I read in my own words. She wasn’t even a teacher, and she knew that was the way to check my understanding. Thanks for this great idea!

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