Published on May 23, 2013

It’s that time of the year! It’s a chance to see how our students are doing. Did they learn what they were supposed to learn?

I’m helping proctor the tests at our school and I have a few observations…

  • Students are not excited to take tests
  • Not many students (at my school) feel like these test closely match what they studied during the year
  • There is a lot of sleeping when they are done

Most of us teachers have little to no say about what is on our state tests, but this week  made me question the final exams I’m about to give my students. Are they relevant? 

“REVELANT” is a big buzz word lately. Here’s a definition…


I’m sure we as teachers can justify most or all of what we put on a test. If you are promoting a proficiency based classroom, do your tests reflect it? Do our STUDENTS think what they learn is relevant?

Here’s a few UH-OH’s that I’m noticing on my current reading assessment… (used for a few years now)

  1. It’s full of authentic readings (good) but they have dates on them (okay). The dates are from 2009 (BAD). In 2009 my current students were in 6th grade. Not closely connected to the matter at hand.
  2. It has readings from “pop-up” ads and emails. Do “pop ups” still exist? How many of your students email each other?
  3. Some of the pictures in the readings copy really poorly into black and white. If I can’t have a color copy for them, the pictures need copy okay!

While I don’t have time to recreate everything each year, my assessments need a little refreshing. (We need to get the cohort back together!) There is an unlimited supply of authentic resources out there. Here’s a theme that could be used for a great Spanish reading assessment this year!

Authentic resources xgames

Here’s the Xgames Barcelona 2013 website –

They have competitors’ profiles…



Ticket information…


Travel options…




Plus, you can find lots of opinions and interactions on Twitter searching #Xgames #barcelona


Creating assessments is also a great team building activity! Take time during your department meetings or see if your principal can let you create a PD during the summer to create new and exciting assessments! Out with the old – let’s get relevant!


We’d love to feature some ideas for reading assessments… if you are willing to share, snap a picture and send a small sample one of your authentic resources and questions that go with it. ( Let’s improve together!