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The TEST Saga Continues

Posted 04-04-2010 at 12:30 PM by J.Elaine
Updated 04-04-2010 at 04:40 PM by J.Elaine

The whole entire week before we started TESTING, we were dedicated to preparing our school, classrooms, and students for TESTING! We cautioned our students about walking quietly in the hall -- respecting others who may still be testing. The office staff pledged that interruptions via the intercom would be eliminated. We gathered all necessary materials ahead of time to eliminate any possible distractions. We knew a nice quiet, comfortable, safe, peaceful atmosphere would be conducive to our students' ability to focus.

Then came TESTING - Week One. All systems were GO! And now the countdown . . . 3 . . .2 . . . 1 . . . begin!

I was poised with the TESTING manual in hand thinking we'd thought of everything! But guess what we didn't count on? Our school is under construction, and BIG, heavy-duty equipment worked right outside our windows. You all know that nerve-wracking "BEEP, BEEP, BEEP" made by big earth-moving equipment? Ah, yes, that's what we heard! So much for a nice peaceful atmosphere! Then to compound the problem, it was hot and stuffy! Our air-conditioning had not been activated yet so we had to keep our windows closed against the noise.

Before I started to read the standardized instructions (the ones you can't stop once you've started), I turned on our fan to mask the outdoor noise. I aimed the air into a corner back by my desk so it wouldn't blow directly on any students. Then . . . SUDDENLY . . . . great giant dust bunnies flew into the air and were carried around the classroom by our two ceiling fans!!!! Of course we all burst out in fits of laughter! I was soooooooooo thankful I did not wait to turn on and adjust the fan AFTER the students had started TESTING! (I could have landed right in TEST PRISON if our state TEST POLICE had been nearby!!!!)

After pulling ourselves together, I managed to get through the standardized instructions, and students managed to get to work.

Then . . . guess what I immediately observed? Yes, the BEEPING and SCRAPING sounds were still outside our windows, but that's not what I noticed. I looked around the classroom and saw my students focusing on the TEST, reading and rereading passages, reading and rereading answers to make sure they made sense, and checking their work! I saw my students giving their best effort to show what they'd learned. Who could ask for more?

Right now, I'd have to give them an A++ for Best Effort! What will their TEST scores be? Who knows? That will come later. For now, I am incredibly proud of my students for overcoming or at least overlooking all the outside distractions and surviving the first two days of TESTING.

Two down. Four more to go!
Later . . .
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  1. Old Comment
    So sorry about that! Our school would have had you write on a special "incident" form to relate that testing "irregularities" had occurred. TESTING is so stressful!!
    Posted 04-07-2010 at 05:51 PM by teachjam teachjam is offline
  2. Old Comment
    J.Elaine's Avatar

    Test Stress

    I was amazed when the construction was allowed to continue during testing. It seems that's all we talked about and worked on this year - academic and motivational strategies to increase test scores!

    Another amazingly incredible thing happened on the last week of testing for 5th grade. The PE people decided to have a hockey intramural play-off game one morning before testing. The students were late getting to the classroom because the game had to go into FIVE OVERTIMES!!!!!!!!! Now I know the students were very, very excited about the game, but hyper and keyed-up was hardly the way for students to enter the classroom just minutes before beginning to test!!!!

    Can you say amazingly incredible?

    Later . . .
    Posted 04-17-2010 at 02:36 PM by J.Elaine J.Elaine is offline

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