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Survivor - WIDA style
Old 02-17-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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We are in the WIDA consortium, so as a member of WIDA, we give the ACCESS test for ELL's. Yikes. Three weeks of h***, more like. I work with three other ESL teachers, and we are all getting irritable, snappish, and just plain tired from testing the 200 children we have in our school. This "survivor" game has involved creating schedules for testing, deciding who is going to test what group of students or individuals, and just plain getting zoned out from repeated readings of the same script. We are finally nearing the end, and very soon, we will be back in the classroom again!


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Old 02-17-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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Ahhhhh I totally know. And that included fihting teacher's for the testing time, since they couldn't understand it was mandatory! (gr)
By the end, we've about pulled our our hair and are wondering how in the world we did it!
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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ACCESS coming up in March! I have 63 students K-5 to test. I know what you are both saying about the scheduling. Last year I got hauled into the office to be yelled at by a K teacher because it took me too long to test students. It was the first year giving the test and it is too long depending on student proficiency but what could I do? I was very, very upset with her. What she does is much more important than what I do. Ugh.
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Hooray, we're through!!!
Old 02-19-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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Today was our last official test day for our ELL ACCESS testing. I wrote an e-mail to all of our teachers to thank them for their patience, understanding, and support as we disrupted their instruction to test our kids.

Read&see, I don't know how she could yell at you about "taking too long." That's so silly. Each K test has to be administered individually, one-on-one, and that is very time consuming. I found that it had to be split into two days. Session 1 and Session 2. There are the speaking and listening portions, as well as the reading and writing. Each one of my K's took about an hour, total, to complete the entire test in two sessions. To make it any shorter is unlikely, as you have so much to read to them and so much for them to respond to.

The best part of this is that I'm taking what I've seen from the results from the K test and taking it to my K teachers. Most of my K's need speaking and writing opportunities, and their teachers have stressed letters, sight words, and sounds. I want to help the teachers, but the students have to get ready for first grade, and they will need to learn to become better speakers if they are going to succeed on many of our state standards, such as story retelling.

It was an interesting test for the remainder of my kids. I had a student in second grade who struggled to produce a coherent sentence, and his teacher wonders why he can't read and has poor reading fluency. Small wonder.

Read&see, you'll get through your testing okay. If we survived, I know you will, too. Could you get a specialist in your school to help you? When I worked in a different school last year, we used every available specialist in the school to help with the testing, even a literacy facilitator.

Miss ESL, We are fortunate to have a testing coordinator with a very "strong" personality. When she said "test," the teachers said "okay, who do you want first?" No arguments there. I agree that a lot of teachers don't quite think of what we do as federally mandated. ACCESS and other testing with ELL's is documentation for the federal government.

I also have had teachers who have thought that I could work with any of their children. Sort of like another adult to "help" them. I had to set them straight on that, too.

My teachers have to be trained to understand that ESL is not a remedial reading program for ELL's. I am rolling my eyes when I hear: "Oh, she doesn't need to go to ESL. She KNOWS her letters and sounds." I had one who tested well on letters and sounds and even sight words, but she can hardly speak a word of English. Memorized sounds and vocabulary does not make an English speaker!
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Congratulations!
Old 02-20-2010, 06:37 AM
 
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You must feel so relieved!

Testing season is just beginning for us. I will have Cogat for 2nd grade students who receive accommodations because they are ESL, ACCESS for ESL, VGLA Reading for ESL, SOL/ESL students who receive accommodations grades 3-5. Who knows when I will teach anything!
But all the tests are required.


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Old 02-26-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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This is my first time sharing here at PT.... I'm a first grade teacher in a self-contained ELL classroom (it's my second year in ELL after teaching regular ed. 1st-2nd grades for 10 years). We just completed WIDA as well, and I got to administer all the speaking pieces to my 16 ELL babies, and we split the rest of the class with 2 other ELL teachers for the reading/writing/listening components. I, too, am so relieved it's all over as I feel like we need to get back into a normal routine again. I do love to spend the one-to-one time with individual students during any testing periods, and I do learn so much about their individual needs at these times.

About the WIDA, I wonder how many of our regular ed. students would qualify for ELL services if they all had to take this particular assessment, and I'm also curious about what you all think about self-contained ELL classrooms. I came from a district which ended this practice and now integrates all learners. My present district believes in the self contained model. Hmmmmm..... Thanks for your input! :-)
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WIDA, too
Old 04-12-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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We did our ACCESS testing in January and I am hoping our scores went up. I used test prep material this year for the first time. I'll let you know if the scores improved. We should have our scores back at the end of April.
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Yay!
Old 05-04-2010, 08:16 AM
 
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I'm almost finished with all of my testing... my situation is just a bit different. I'm the only ELL teacher for my country, so I had to test K-12 at six schools. Luckily, I only have 25 students.

Awakenow - what test prep materials did you use??? I know that WIDA hasn't officially endorsed any, but I think that my kids could benifit from some sort of prep beyond what we've done. Thanks in advance!!!
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