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First Grade Testing
Old 01-18-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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I was just wondering what your opinion is on testing in first grade. Does anybody use the Terra Nova test in their district with first graders? What do you see as the pros/cons of testing in first grade? Thanks for your opinions!


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Old 01-19-2007, 07:03 AM
 
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We don't do any standardized testing in 1st grade. We do DIBELS and our own running records, STAR, STAR early lit. I think a con would be that first graders don't really understand the impact of their choices. Many might just fill in answers b/c they want to finish. I'm sure there are a lot more cons and some pros but that is all I can think of at the moment!
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In years past
Old 01-19-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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we've done the Terra Nova in first grade. This year we are switching to ITBS- even harder from what I hear. IMO, I think testing this age is ridiculous, but I do what I'm told.
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Old 01-19-2007, 03:25 PM
 
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We did the Terra Nova last year. I wasn't crazy about it. We are a Reading First School and were required to do it. I think those types of tests are a lot for a first grader. Some of them don't fully understand the importance of it.
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Yes!
Old 01-19-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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Our system chooses to test 1st and 2nd graders with Terra Nova even though it isn't mandated until third grade. I get stressed every year about it. My feelings are that the skills we are learning in first are all NEW skills and the kids need a chance to learn the skills without being tested, tested, tested! Our first grade teachers feel the pressure to keep going in order to cover most of the entire year's state standards before the test and that doesn't give time to reinforce, reteach, etc. I think probably the teachers stress more than the kids. I would enjoy just being able to let the kids learn at our own pace. I don't think it makes anyone a better teacher to know that the test is coming up in the spring.

Wish we had a say in what's appropriate for first graders!


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We don't test in first grade
Old 01-20-2007, 05:20 AM
 
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in the district I teach in now. When I taught in a different state, we tested in first grade. Kids cried, threw up, got headaches. It was horrible. I actually tested the readability level of the word problems they were expected to read by themselves on the math test. Some were written on a fifth grade reading level. They were too hard for the kids to read on their own, but we weren't allowed to read them to them. That was several years ago, and I'm sure they have improved the tests since then. I'm just thankful that we don't have to teach where I am now. We do spend a lot of time preparing for the tests. When the test scores come back from second grade, we find out what concepts we were low on, and we spend a lot of time on those concepts.
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Terra Nova
Old 01-20-2007, 06:00 AM
 
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Last year was my first year to test. My gut told me to just teach as usual . I wanted to see if what we did in classactually was on the test. I had no prior knowledge what to expect. The test seemed fair. They had lots of double digit addition that we don't do but my kids worked it out. Many of my kids got 99% in math, social studies and science. I was pleased. The kids I had last year were just average first graders. They did well. They thought it was easy. There were a few things that were hard but we just smiled at each other and kept it unstressful. The rest of the school "gets ready" with lots of test prep activities. The principal gives us pep talks and buy us books to use to prepare. I know that the double digit addition/subtraction (no regrouping) was a thing I didn't teach so now I did show them how. But other than that I think if you do norma first grade stuff they will be ready.

I always separate desks and we use paper to cover our answer etc. so they were used to a testing situation.
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first grade teacher
Old 04-05-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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I am an Arkansas first grade teacher. I would be interested in seeing what target test are given to first graders in other schools? If you have a copy and would like to share, I would appreciate it.
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It's been a long time,
Old 04-05-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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but I remember that the Math test I gave in first grade when I first started teaching had a lot of word problems. In fact, there were very few basic addition and subtraction problems. The reading level was very difficult. I think they've changed since then. I'm just happy that we don't have to do it where I teach now.
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