What is the value of giving the Shurley English Pretest if students are not familiar with the curriculum? As a consultant, I’ve heard this question before, and I want to urge you to listen up! Even though the pretest may appear extraordinarily difficult, you should never avoid it! Let me explain.
You may be new to the curriculum, but as the classroom teacher, you must always keep the main goal of Language Arts instruction in mind. The goal, of course, is to give students the tools they need to become competent, confident communicators! Simply stated, you want your students to be able to speak and write with fluency.
One way to support this goal is to allow students to see their own progress for themselves. The Shurley English Pretest can be used to compare with the Posttest at the end of the year. You do not need to formally grade the Pretest; all you have to do is file it away in a safe place and pull it out at the end of the year. Then, students will see the value of the Pretest and the Posttest as they compare the two assessments. They (and their parents) will be amazed at what they have learned during their first year in Shurley English.
So, why give our Pretest? It is simply a benchmark which measures the beginning of the journey into making the grammar/writing connection. As your students grow in their skills, both you and they will be glad you took the time to mark where they began the trip. That, my friend, is the value of our Pretest.