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April 6, 2014


Yes, I meant to shout!

Last week the kids took their first dose of the new SBAC tests.  It was different being in the library, away from the comforts of the classroom.  This year was all practice - the whole point was to provide exposure so they know - and we can spot issues - of what to expect next year when it counts.  My 4th graders only worked on the math portion.  No writing, no reading - just math.  Don't know why they only had to do the math portion, but it was still a learning curve.

I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get going each day.  Being the first time we all did this, we had an "expert" in the room to help teach us the routine, but by the end of the first day I had a good grasp of what I needed to do.  The kids marched on into the library, they had little cards that had their student information on it (that they had to plug into the computers), and then I did my portion on the administrator computer.  When they were waiting for me to get everyone on the right spot, they grabbed a clipboard, pencil, and piece of of scratch paper from the tub and got settled in.  

Then it was just a matter of wandering around, smiling, and remaining calm.  Some kids were able to finish the portion of the day, so they had a book to read while they waited.  Other kids needed more time and that was fine too.  The format threw some of the kids for a loop - the split screen, using the tools, and scrolling.  We had sent home directions to the families on how to check out the released test questions (mainly to understand how the test was different than past years).  We also stressed the importance of typing the past 4 months as well - typing homework, etc - just to be familiar with the keyboard.  I believe it was easier for the kids that did practice at home.  Other random moments when the computer froze or just logged off altogether made it interesting, but we made it.   

Highly recommend clip boards if your tables don't have a lot of room to work.  Since my grade level was rotating throughout the day - one hour each class, 4 days total - we found it was easier to just leave my class set of clipboards in the library so we didn't have to haul them back and forth - especially during those moments we went straight to recess or P.E.  
Are you ready to Rock the Test? Standardized Testing Strategies

Last year I picked up these posters from Dots n Spots.  Even though it was just a practice test (scores don't count - we don't even see scores), my class still went through the different steps of what is important to remember in a testing environment.  

Test Prep Poster Activity

Then we used this poster from Elementary Lesson Plans to brainstorm what helps us individually on assessments - all assessments.  We tackled this on Monday, and then tested Tuesday-Friday.  Good review.  
Shine On!  Motivational Notes for Testing
I also used these little notes from 4th Grade Frolics to tell my kids how proud I was of them.  

Hope you had a relaxing Sunday!  

1 comment:

  1. We're in the same situation as you--will be taking the SBAC as a practice this year. Nice to know the scores don't count this year. We start teaching CCSS next year. I've heard there are little glitches with the test on the computer. Will be interesting to see how it all goes in May, when it's our turn to take the "test that doesn't count." ; )

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