Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 31° Partly Cloudy
News >  Washington Voices

Students Learn By Creating Own Tests

The seventh-graders had a test coming up about Africa. But first they had to finish creating their tests.

It’s called peer testing, and it’s one of the ways Anne Cunningham and other seventh-grade teachers at Horizon Junior High School make sure their students learn - really learn - their material.

“Why are you making your own tests?” Cunningham asked her class. Hands shot up around the room.

“We’re doing higher level thinking,” came one answer.

“That’s right. You’re analyzing, synthesizing and thinking about what’s important,” Cunningham replied. “That’s basically what school is about these days, with the essential learnings.”

The children were working on their tests grouped in two’s and three’s around the room.

Kelsey Nord, Lauren Leavitt and Kari McIntyre were working together, referring to their notes and their textbooks, fine-tuning their multiple choice questions.

Here’s an example: Many people in Zaire are subsistence farmers. The others grow: A. cash crops; B. ground nuts; C. cacao; D. none of the above.

The answer is A. The cash crops grown in Zaire include B and C.

Brian Lindblad neatly wrote out an essay question he’d thought up: “Compare and contrast the feelings of the people that believed in apartheid and the people who were against it.”

R.J. Miller was designing a 15-word crossword puzzle - with all the vocabulary having to do with Africa.

Cunningham had a couple of reasons for putting her students in the small groups. First, Cunningham said, working together is one of the most important life skills her seventh-graders can learn.

Second, while five of her students are in Central Valley School District’s gifted education program, three students in her class are non-readers, due to disabilities. Their verbal abilities are on a par with their classmates, Cunningham said, and working together, they all learn.

Test day is today for Cunningham’s class. As far as she’s concerned, though, they have already demonstrated their mastery of the material.

Math is Cool

A.J. Hanenburg, Josh Larson, Ky Winborn and Amanda Winsper of Centennial Middle School placed third out of 26 seventh-grade teams at the annual Math is Cool Championship.

The competition, hosted by the Lewis and Clark High School math team, includes an afternoon and evening of math tests in various formats.

Hanenburg was the top scoring individual among all Centennial competitors, and placed 12th out of 104 individual seventh-grade competitors.

In eighth-grade competition, top scorers from Valley schools were Heidi Decker of Centennial, Jordan Trader of Greenacres Junior High School and Molly Bundinsky of St. Mary’s Catholic School.

EV names new chairman

Marie Francis has been named the new chairwoman of East Valley School Board. Tim Wicks is the new vice chairman. And new board member Sue Wentz is the legislative representative this year.

Join the R-E-S-P-E-C-T team

Students at Ponderosa Elementary School have created a Respect Team to help emphasize respect, honor and integrity at their school.

Team members are Dane Nelson, Kim Cooper, Travis Gonder, Matt Engle, Matthew Jucht, Ashton Ostheimer, Tim Spencer, Bailen Brown, Tim Odeen, Michele Gorka, Cody Lee, Skip Jewett, Jennifer Hart, Sami Ellig, Alisha Carpenter and Erin Stearns.

The students have presented assemblies at Ponderosa and will find other ways through the year to promote respectful behavior.

Students play Santa

Art students and technical students at Mountain View Middle School worked under teacher Ted Farr to make wooden gifts for the South Hill Santa Project.

Members of Mountain View’s chapter of the National Junior Honor Society helped raise $700 which they used to buy long johns and socks for the Union Gospel Mission and Ogden Hall.

Greenacres helps good cause

Students from the Greenacres Junior High School Spirit Service Club helped decorate one of the Christmas trees raffled off at the recent Festival of Trees.

Helpers were Crystal Graves, Marcy Nauert, Jewell Shivers, Tracy Culp, Kim Williams, Bev Kaiser, Katie Adamson and Jennifer Reynolds.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: The Education Notebook is the spot The Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com

The Education Notebook is the spot The Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.