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?"

Sunday, May 06, 2007

So, what to do during testing downtime......

As I previously wrote, my 7th graders will have too much down time during our mandated testing next week. Since many won't read AR books, I will have some other things available for them.

We have two types of "downtime," the time each student is finished with a section of their test and must quietly wait for their classmates to either finish or for the allotted time to expire. For these times, I have created some "find a word" activities for them to do, if they choose. They can read their AR book or just sit and mutely vegetate as too many of them seem to prefer. These 'find a word' activities were created by using the free puzzle maker program found via "Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators" found at Discovery.com. These activities feature words about "Mexico," "Geography and History of East Asia," "Geographic Features of Europe," "Major Cities of Europe," "Islands of the World," and "World Mountains."

The second type of "downtime" is the time they have when their testing is finished for the day, but they have to wait, in class, for the 8th graders to finish their expanded testing before everyone is dismissed for lunch or to go to their next class.
For these times, I have some activities from our old discarded Advisory class materials about rules, feelings, choices/decisions and stuff like that. I also have some small group activities in which teams read a "Dear Abby" type question (tailored to the junior high life), and they come up with ideas or possible solutions to the dilemma. I also have individual or small team Geography "Where am I" type questions which they have to figure out were the person is and correctly label the place on a blank world map. I also just received a free DVD about the Bengali economist who just won a Nobel Prize for his economics idea of micro-loans to provide poor people seed money for some small individual or family business.
I also might offer to do a 'read aloud' in class of Cathy Cushman's "The Midwife's Apprentice," which is an AR book and current for the history most 7th graders are now studying. I have a class set of this novel.

What do you do with your students during mandated testing "downtimes" ?

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