Saturday, April 19, 2014

CRT testing

Standardized testing is up on us.  In our district, spring break coincided with Easter so some of the fifth grade testing was done before spring break with the rest after.

Third grade went first and we had our math test on the Wednesday and Thursday before spring break.  The Friday before spring break was field day, so no testing was done.

We had a fifth grade pep assembly and they got these cute testing treats:

I don't know what happens at other schools, but we are very strict with our testing protocol.  My pink CRT bucket does not leave my sight after I sign it out in the am.  I lock it in the cabinet and then lock my door when I go to pick up my students and when we take our restroom break.  This year, our district was even stricter with test proctoring rules.  No technology could be on, which includes my teacher computer, iPads, and my cell phone.  I understand the rules and it saddens me that some teachers would cheat, giving the rest of us a bad name.  However, I also understand the incredibly high stakes of this test and when job security depends on the moods of eight year-olds, it seems like a catch-22 situation.  But again, I'm not the one making the rules...just the one meticulously following them.  Even though it means no email during the test.

We do class adoptions during testing season.  Primary classes adopt the testing grades and create good luck banners and treats to motivate our kiddos.  I wish we would have this adoption all year so that our classes could read to one another and share their writing, but I am not in charge of these things.

We did make good luck signs for the two third grade classes that we share a hallway with and they made super cute ones for us as well.  We also write good luck messages on our boards, since we take down all of our anchor charts and visual cues during testing.  

We were adopted by two first grade classes since their combined numbers are about equal to one fifth grade classroom.

Our first treat said we would rock the test and was baggies of rock shaped chocolates:

Our second treat was that we're on a roll with tootsie rolls.

I can't wait to see what the next four days of testing treats will be.  My students love the snack and the motivation signs are super cute.  I'm actually really excited about testing because I'm so proud of the hard work my grade level has done this year to prepare our students. 

 I only hope the standardized tests match what we taught in terms of standards.  We adopted the Common Core and have followed our state's roll-out plan meticulously, so we hope the test reflects the standards we were mandated to teach.  

(In all likelihood, this won't be the case.  I'm sure the test will be the old standards and our school will look poor in rankings because we did our job and taught them what they were supposed to learn...but alas, I'm not a policy maker and am not able to be in charge of everything...yet?)

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