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Teacher’s Log on Assessing Writing Test

The students’ work mounted on my desk. They are waiting to be checked. 20/03/2012 was the day for 12 graders have written test. The test was given in two sessions. The first was at 7.30-9.45. the text type that was to be picked: narrative, recount, analytical exposition, hortatory exposition, explanation and discussion.  Meanwhile the topic to be picked: Unified Zone in Indonesia, Social Networking, Being an Idol, Television, Gender Equity.

Science 1 class mostly took Television and Being Idol as their topic of writing. Their choice on discussion text seemed to be a bit a trial of implementing what they have already known into writing practice. I mean, they use similar expression at the opening part of their discussion such as ‘there many conflicting opinion about ….” Followed by “in one hand ….” The third paragraph “ However…” and the closing “ to sum up …”.  There were not significant varieties in their writing to propose argument for and against. When I am reading their works, it was flat. It seems like I can predict what structure I will meet in their writing. It is a bit boring and do not arouse my curiosity to read.  I stressed, almost all students took discussion type, however there is a case. One student picked recount. I guess he made the text from his home. He wrote about Playing Basket Ball. See? His recount on playing basket ball does not have any relation with the topic I provided to choose. I gave him the minimal mark. I had no idea how he could write such a text. I have to ask him why he wrote that.

Further, Science 2 did a bit similar reaction to the text type and topic given. In general I can say that Science 2 did better than Science 1. Some of the students who took Television as their topic put title as “Positive and Negative Effect of Television”. From the title it is clear that the students will see the issue of television from two perspectives. Their positive reasons mostly argued that television give information and cause to feel up to date in information.  Meanwhile as the negative side of watching television is lazy and waste time. Besides Television, some decided to pick Gender Equity. The students’ point of view on this topic was taken from religion side, law, and human basic right. Unfortunately, they did not make any stance; they wrote “gender equity has its own positive and negative side and it depends on how we judge it”.

Then, the session two was at 10.30 to 12.30. Science 3 was given topic of Games, Home Schooling , Cash Aids, and Cheating at the test. Some students choose to write in Analytical Exposition to see Cheating as negative thing. One thing that interests me is that the students point of view on Home Schooling. I get a bit confused how come the students think that home schooling means that invite teacher to homes and teach at home and cause a child who does home schooling will be a loner. One student defines home schooling as study one and one, so that home schooling means a child studies alone. The students’ point of view on home schooling completely based on their thought not from reading. I plan to ask students on this matter whether my prediction is right or not.

Some students who discussed Cash Aids proposed logical reasons and even argued a firm point. They gave a good definition such as Cash aids is a help to poor people in Indonesia in the form of money. The students continued that cash aids are not good because they will make the people lazy and do not want to find a job, besides does not solve the problem of poverty in Indonesia.

The last was Science 4. The result of this class was shocked me. I thought that they could do better than I thought. Most of the students were not able to elaborate their points into clear and complete paragraph. A few students did well. They were the ones who were in ongoing activities were usually active.

What I can learn from this test activity is that ‘teacher must prepare a rubric for assessing the students’ writing’. It will consume a lot of time if teacher does not make a rubric as parameter to score students’ works. It is advisable to categorize the students’ work into “poor, average, good and excellent” group before scoring them to help teacher mis-scored the paper.

It is also helpful if the papers are assessed by two or more teachers. Personal relationship between teacher and student may influence the score. By asking other teacher who does teach at the tested-class will create personal-free scoring and it is hoped fair score can be gained.

 


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