Monday, February 9, 2015

Testing, Testing

Ever feel like you're overwhelmed with testing?? (Of course you do, you're a teacher!)

I never heard anything regarding the National Board study and while it's a bummer....it's likely for the best. I have a ton going on at school and it's better if I'm there. As awesome as it would have been to be a part of that study, I'm being positive and looking at things as if God himself is personally guiding my path...wherever it leads me.

That said, we are testing and testing right now. Snow days are all good and fun until you realize they are really messing with your mojo :) We had one snow day on a Thursday and then one the following Monday. Doesn't seem like much but it really set us back a bit. We're finishing up MAP testing and are now starting WIDA testing for our ELL kiddos. Many staff are helping to administer this test because there are so many of our kiddos who need to take it. My brain may explode from all of the tests ;) (Really my concern is keeping the schedule straight -- holy moly.)

I've never given it before but had training last week (sidebar: it took me THREE TRIES to get to that darn training--first time I tried, I twisted my knee and ended up at the med station, second time was one of the snow days...I guess the third time really is the charm!). I did ELPA when we still had that here in Michigan so it shouldn't be too bad. The weirdest part will be the speaking just because the rubrics are SO different for each level. Alas, I have my little notes to use during the test just in case. 

I'll be administering the test to 4th grade (and 1 random 5th grader). Tomorrow is reading and listening. Wednesday is writing. Next Tuesday is the speaking portion which is done individually. I have the whole afternoon to test (about 2.5 hours). There is a tiny break in there for me between groups. 

Since I am not a fan of leaving a pile of busy work for my kids to do when I'm not with them, I had to think about what to leave for those afternoons. Our schedule is all weird due to the days off and whatnot so we're finishing up some things and skipping others. I decided to make MY life easier and not do a weekly story this week so that it wouldn't interfere with everything else. 

Tomorrow my kiddos will do a few fun activities from a super saver sub kit I bought last year on TpT. They will practice with adverbs, make Onomatopoeia comic strips and review adaptations we've worked on in science. On Wednesday, they are going to do this Division Movie Project. I bought this two years ago when I had my split and it's perfect. It has real world examples as the students design their movie theater but they also have to practice and review their math. It's super fun too.

I have several kiddos who just don't get division yet -- partially due to their lack of mastery in multiplication facts -- but I still do it each year. It's a fun project and the kids enjoy it, even if it has to be more guided for some of them. 

I for one will be very grateful when the testing is all over. It'll be nice to get back to the business of just teaching -- I'll have about a month of that before it's off to Finland I go! I'd like to maximize that time so that I can leave my kiddos with some super cool and educational projects to do while I'm gone that won't require me to review everything when I get home but will still meet standards.

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