Thursday, January 22, 2009

Feelin' good and cozy about tests

Today and tomorrow, my school will be in "testing mode". Instead of teaching reading and writing during the customary uninterrupted Literacy Block from 10:30 -12:00, we will all have a "simulation test".

This test is actually a district benchmark math assessment which someone thought could also serve as a simulation for the actual state test. (Brilliant!) In other words, all students from Kindergarten through fourth grade will be tested today.

The "Quiet, TESTING" signs will be up on all of the doors, there will be silence in the halls, proctors will be assigned to every room, and an announcement from the principal will call for the testing to begin and end at the prescribed times. Those of you who are familiar with testing may also know that since my students are ELLs, they have certain accommodations, such as time and a half. Where the general program might have 45 minutes for a particular section, mine have 67. Some students use the time, some don't. Most get frustrated.

All this so our students will feel "comfortable" with the testing environment and time constraints.

My fourth graders are looking at two days of 46 pages containing 50 multiple choice and open-ended questions. A lot of the material on it has not yet been "covered". How can it be? We're always testing!

There's a district reading benchmark test which is supposed to take place "some time" next week; administration is not sure when. We'll also have a district writing benchmark assessment the first week in February.

You know, to make the students feel comfortable with testing.

3 comments:

Stacey said...

Thanks for your honesty when you commented on our blog. I appreciate it so much.

You're right... you can force them to produce what they're not ready to produce. Just keep on keepin' on and it'll work itself out!

Mr. McGuire said...

It's amazing, no matter where you go, teachers all have the same feeling about testing. And where do we get our feelings from--watching the students, of course!

tom said...

We go from spring break to test prep week to test week. So yeah our kids are really going to love that? We look at it as just another thing we have to do that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But then we do get to wear jeans if we wear our "official test T-shirts".
Staff motivation takes all forms.
Tom Anselm
author, YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD FOR SPACE CAMP