Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Lessons about State Testing

Hello, yes, its been awhile. Not much, How about you? Polski3 hasn't been blogging much. We had our state testing last week. Here are a few things I learned:

Lesson No. One: If you take meds for blood pressure, delay taking them if you can, on testing days. My BP med speeds up my getting rid of liquids. This is hard to do when you are stuck with a bunch of kids taking their state tests. Our administration said if something comes up, just call the office. The problem is, 75% of the time when I call the office for anything, the phone just rings and rings and rings. Someone in the office is always on the phone.

Lesson No. Two: Have some good quality erasers handy for testing. I made it a point in a pre-testing faculty meeting to ask if the pencils that were being put into our boxes of testing materials would have good quality erasers. I was assured that our school bought pencils with the best erasers on them. Well, lo and behold, many of them didn't erase too well. Fortunately, none of my students tore their answer sheets trying to erase something, and I had on hand a couple of high quality erasers for them to use.

Lesson No. Three: Stray pencil mark prevention can be achieved by having students put a clean sheet of paper under their answer sheet or between the pages of their answer sheet. For whatever reason, when the kids are bubbling in their answers, marks will appear on pages underneath of where they are bubbling. The clean piece of paper catches these stray marks and saves someone from having to go through every test answer sheet and erase all those stray marks.

Lesson No. Four: Even though the principal told our students to be sure to have their AR book for those times when they are finished with a test and need something quiet to do, many of them do not have any book or quiet activity. So, I made up some find-a-word puzzles that had lots of words for students to hunt for. A number of them did these find-a-word activities and it helped keep them quiet when they had to be quiet.

Lesson No. Five: Don't load up your students with homework during testing week. Many of them won't do it. My turn in rate for the small project I assigned for homework was, lets just say, very poor. (the project was to create a map showing at least ten physical geographic features of Europe). And in regular classes, I find that having several small activities is better than trying to have them concentrate on any activity that will require much mental effort.

What are some of the lessons you have learned about dealing with State Testing? Please share them with us!

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