Test Day #sol19

Test Day #sol19

April 23, 2019

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Today is state test day for the third graders.  I would like to say that it’s just one piece of data.  I would like to say that it’s insignificant to my work, our work.  I would like to say that I haven’t been thinking about how the students will do.  I cannot.

I’ve been thinking about test day for over a month.  Every literary essay we craft with the students makes me consider if we’ve helped them own the narrative tasks.  Every time they misstep in character work or parts of speech or planning for writing makes me consider every way I’ve coached teachers and students in literacy.

If you asked me outright,  I would say that what I see in student writing, in independent thinking, in character analysis by NINE YEAR OLDS has been nothing short of amazing. Yet, on the practice test, they asked the students to write a story from the perspective of a rat instead of a snake and they were thrown.  I understand the test creators may ask point of view questions for students to show how they understand character development in relationship to stories.  Perhaps the students are thrown because the stories are not as complicated as the ones they read every day.

As I arrived at school, I realized that we worry about the state tests a few days coming up to them, on the day as student ( and their parents) react to them, and on the day that the scores arrive.  These tests are our currently reality.  We should think about how questions are asked of students and how students respond to them.  We also should continue to teach literacy in the context of life skills and citizenship, connections and inferences,  deep thought and collaborative talk.

I hope that all we as a staff have facilitated for our students will shine in these assessments.  However,  if it doesn’t, perhaps we should consider not just our presentation, but the test design. Allowing ourself time to teach students how they will be tested now and throughout life.  Contemplating how to respond to tests and how to succeed.

For now,  I wish all of us a peaceful, productive day.




7 thoughts on “Test Day #sol19

  1. I wish you a peaceful and productive day too.

    Those third graders… they’re so little. I wish they weren’t subjected to all of this testing. (Same goes for fourth graders, fifth graders, etc.)

  2. Like Stacey, I hope all goes well. But I agree, I wish for those kids not to be subjected to these tests. I’d love to read the research that shows how good standardized testing is for kids, but I’ve yet to see it. It sounds like you should feel good about the work you’ve done, despite what the tests might try to tell you. All the best!

  3. Hope the day was as peaceful and productive as you hoped it would be. Your piece is making me think about the upcoming testing in my classroom and if I’ve done enough to make kids feel calm about it. Thanks!

  4. Having just finished reading a book about data, its uses, and misuses, this bit from your slice strikes me as an underutilized (and, in the world of standardized tests, often unavailable) data source: “We should think about how questions are asked of students and how students respond to them.”

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