Today is the first test. Students have learned material from almost all the overall curriculum expectations and I get to see how they are doing with it. We did not do any measurement (SA & V) as the timing worked out better for the test to be today (and tomorrow) so they can work on surface area and volume questions while I am away at a math conference on Thursday and Friday.
What does test day look like? Desks in rows instead of in groups and students work away at their questions using graphing calculators and manipulatives as needed. They have trig tables on their desks and some have a graphing calculator instruction sheet as reference. No one is talking but it is not always quiet as you hear the sound of pennies shuffling across desks as they solve the system of linear equations. They get up to collect what they need and to return it - small body breaks for some that need it. I tell them to start with whichever question they like - the order is not important. I will soon be circulating with my orange pen to give prompts if needed on questions they have left blank. They almost always know more than they show and pointing them in the right direction to get them going lets me see more of what they can do. As my prompts are all written on their test papers in orange pen I can take them into consideration when marking. If any student does not finish the test today, they will continue tomorrow. Time is not a factor. Quitting before truly attempting all questions is not an option. Generally, my grade 10 applied students are not afraid of asking me questions - they seem less afraid of appearing "stupid" because they don't know something (I remind them that they are learning and are all smart). I know this fear all too well - I often do not reply to interesting tweets because I don't want to appear foolish or wrong, but I am working on that! I think my students trust me and know that I want them to do their best. Sometimes it is my job to believe in them even when they don't believe in themselves. This is one time when I am happy to prove them wrong.