My group of grade 8s came into their final exam on Friday to expect their written exam. In my hand was a stack of papers. Two pages double sided and stapled per person. I went over the usual test procedures: no talking, cheating, copying, and the usual. Students were told to sit four to a table and only have their writing utensils on their tables. I handed out all the tests and asked them to keep them face down until ready to start. When I gave the go ahead, students were asked to answer a series of questions.
…seems typical, right?
At the bottom of the first page, it told them to get up, move all their bags and backpacks to the shelves where we usually keep bags so that we don’t trip over them in the kitchen. They were to silently make eye contact with their partners, give them a thumbs up, and get ready for a lab. As students got to the bottom of the first page of the exam, they started to look at me with shock. Some laughed, some looked scared, some look confused, and some even looked a bit agitated that they wouldn’t be sitting down for the entire test. As this was a silent test, students walked around briskly getting ingredients and helping each other with their only form of communication being convenient sign language and writing notes to one another. Once they finished sections of the test, they were asked on their exam to give each other high fives so I knew where everyone was on the exam.
See the 70 minute test in under a minute here: