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5 Alternatives to Traditional Midterm Exams [Episode 51]


Click below to hear ideas for an alternative midterm exam:

Winter break is quickly approaching! Unfortunately, that means that midterm exams are as well. Most of us are required to give some sort of midterm exam and although scantrons are fast and easy, as we’re thinking of all the exams we have to grade, there may be alternatives that better serve our students. Today, I am sharing 5 ideas for using an alternative midterm exam with your secondary science students.

At this point in the year, you (and your students) are likely feeling pretty burned out. The thought of a long midterm exam is exhausting to everyone. This is the perfect time to try an alternative midterm exam that will assess your students’ learning in a fun and authentic way!

In this episode, I am sharing how to use a children’s book project as a midterm, why a ‘Teach the Class’ project is a great way to assess where students are at, how making a midyear review game helps review content students have learned, how project-based learning research projects challenge and stretch students, and how to use an open-ended reflective essay that qualifies as a “test.” 

Hopefully these ideas inspire you to ditch the traditional and try something new. I want to hear what you have done as an alternative midyear exam! Send me a message and tell me what you’ve done that’s been really effective!

If you’re looking for great activities to do with your students before heading off to break, be sure to grab my FREE winter activities for high school science. Keep your students engaged with these 4 winter-themed science activities!

Topics Discussed in This Episode About Using An Alternative Midterm Exam:

  • What an alternative midterm exam is and why you should consider using one
  • How to use a Children’s Book Project as a fun and challenging way to assess your students
  • Why a Teach the Class project is a great way to assess where you students currently are
  • How making a midyear review game ensures students have a solid understanding before moving on
  • How to use independent research projects as a midyear exam or as an entire semester project
  • Ideas for questions to use for open-ended reflective essays

Resources Mentioned:

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More about Secondary Science Simplified: 

Secondary Science Simplified is a podcast specifically for high school science teachers that will help you to engage your students AND simplify your life as a secondary science educator. Each week Rebecca, from It’s Not Rocket Science, and her guests will share practical and easy-to-implement strategies for decreasing your workload so that you can stop working overtime and start focusing your energy doing what you love – actually teaching!

Teaching doesn’t have to be rocket science, and you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to simplify your secondary science teaching life so that you can enjoy your life outside of school even more. Head to itsnotrocketscienceclassroom.com/challenge to grab your FREE Classroom Reset Challenge.

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Use these signs to equip your students to take on any question - and never say "I don't know where to begin" again!

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