I get bored during tests, and I tend to get restless. ("Dr. D, you're making too much noise.")
Kids like routines, and here's mine:
1) Pass out the test bunnies, giant cockroach, praying mantis puppet, and a half dozen felt mice. (Talismans in science class, who would've thunk?)
2) Pass out tests.
3) Pass out pencils. ("It will cost you 5 points." Dr. Deeeeeeeee, no fair..... "Have I ever taken a point away?")
4) Get out the magic pipette.
The magic pipette started out as the magic wand ("magic's" a bit redundant, I suppose), then transmogrified into a magic pipette when I misplaced my wand.
During a test, each child gets to use the magic pipette for one question--it will mysteriously land on the right answer.
It started out as a gimmick by a very bored teacher, but I've kept it because it gives me good information. God forbid, it also gives a few kids an extra few points.
What have I learned?
The most confused kids won't even use it--a hard lesson for me to learn. Children feeling defeated will not take help.
If everyone's using it for the same couple of questions, something's likely wrong with the question.
Kids hate it when they already picked the right answer, even if it was chosen completely at random.
My magic pipette won't ever rival Madeline Hunter, but for a few kids, giving away an answer serves as an act of kindness in a world that increasingly frowns on such.