I've been looking through the Evaluations for the R level for my 9th grader. Keeping in mind that Evaluations is to be a tool has anyone ever given the essay questions ahead of time and had their student do them open note with no time limit, but the rest of the test/quiz closed note? Or, really what I was thinking, to not use all of the essay questions at first, but just skip them? How do you teach a student to do a timed essay?? And how much do you expect from your freshmen?
This is what I will probably do with my 9th grader: We would perhaps just discuss the questions orally for the first few weeks. Then I would give him the question and we would write down the answers in the form of notes I would use to write a timed essay. I would do it for a week or two. Then I would have him do it for a week or two. Then I would have HIM write the notes and then I would write out a good timed essay based on his notes. I might do this for a week or two. Then I would have him write the entire thing. My goal would be to have him doing it by himself by Christmas. Another thing I would do is what I did with my honors children when I taught: I would help them to prepare for each test by anticipating the questions. What do you think would make a good essay question on Pride and Prejudice? What were any major themes you could write about? Do you see any connections to any other works we have read before? What topics in history would make a good essay question? etc. I hope that helps!