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long comp state testing
Old 03-25-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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We had our long comp state test today. It went fairly well. Students were still writing at 12:30 and the test started at 9am. The kids were spent. I was however disappointed that a few of my top notch kids only wrote one page (4 paragraphs or so), when I have been stressing 5-8 paragraphs for a personal narrative. Some didn't even go a WORD over 5 paragraphs. I am tired of the kids asking...."How many paragraphs do we have to write?" How many sentences are supposed to be in a paragraph?" Ugh..I try to tell them that it's not the number that counts its the content and quality. I always ask them "DO you love it?" If the answer is no then work on it some more. When are kids going to learn that they can put forth a little extra and get a lot in return? Some are just lazy and some just do not want to write. Most of the kids did a good job though. I was mostly happy. Anyone else do the long comp writing state test in thier district? Does anyone have insight into this or words of wisdom for me?


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Long Comp
Old 03-25-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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We did ours today as well. I have 4th grade so basically I worked with them on 5 paragraphs. Judging by their effort, I think they did okay. I did not look at them but the majority wrote for I'd say two and a half hours total. One girl finished 15 minutes before dismissal but she always writes a lot. One child did not understand a word in the prompt and said the dictionary did not help him, but he did write, so who knows. One of my advanced writers finished first;I'm sure she did fine, but I thought she would put extra time in it. I sharpened pencils hundreds of times, so they were certainly writing! I think they got a chuckle out of how many times I'd get up and down passing out more pencils. My ADHD kid who always finishes first (God Bless Him and His Mom) was one of the last to finish; I was so pleased by that. He does love to write. Almost all of my kids love writing so I think they did okay.My kids in the past usually score on an average 14-15/20. I'm hoping this year it will be higher as I did writing with them every day. I really stressed it. I am assuming you are in Mass. When are you doing the reading? We have a break today and will do three sessions on Thurs., Fri., and Monday. Tomorrow I am doing Language Arts all day.
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yep, Mass here
Old 03-25-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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We do the ELA portion of the testing April 1-3. I hope they do ok... I get nervous during these things.
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Omg!
Old 03-25-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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A 2-3 and a half hour writing test????? In 4th grade??? OMG. Is that the only writing test they take? (In other words, does it carry over into day 2?)

I am in CO, and the writing portion is broken down into 3 days, 1 hour per day. (They may not go over an hour) (combination of prompts and multiple choice). On day 1, they write their rough draft. On day 2, they go back, edit/revise and write their final draft. Not sure on day 3 (cause I teach 3rd-the test is a little different). I'm assuming day 3 is the multiple choice portion.

On the plus side, I was reading an article that said Massachusetts is the toughest standardized test in the nation (or was it that they have the highest standards of all 50 states?-can't remember exactly-maybe both). So, I guess that is a good thing.

I just feel sorry for the kids. That seems grueling for 10-11 year olds!!!

You have my pity.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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In CO, day 3 is a multiple choice part about punctuation and grammar. They read a friendly letter and answer questions about it, I think.
I can't even imagine having a test that lasts all day. How do you train students to stay focused on it for 2 hours even? My fourth graders last year finished an hour of writing in 10 minutes.


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purple---
Old 03-25-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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Thanks for the info. I am kind of glad I teach 3rd! It is only 2 days, 1 hour per day. The big negative, though, is that there are 3 prompts to be written to, over the 2 day period. So, on 1 of the days, they have to write to 2 different prompts, plus m/c questions, in an hour time frame.

Of course, they always finish in plenty of time because they don't go back and check their work!
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MCAS-Massachusetts
Old 03-26-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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In answer to your question, it is only one prompt, one day. It is untimed. We had them work on it for an hour, then they had snack/bathroom break. They continued the next hour still on 1st draft. They then had lunch only (no recess). Most worked another1.5 or two hours on final draft. Every year a few kids work right up until dismissal. Indeed it is grueling. Fourth grade is the earliest grade they test in writing. It is always a descriptive prompt relating to them. One year they had a snow day prompt and had to give a new prompt another day to some city that had never had a snow day in 10 years. Every fourth grade in the state takes it the same day so word of the prompt doesn't leak out. I was real pleased with how good my kids were during testing. The reading/English (ELA) parts are 3 days within a two week window. Each of those tests will take my kids about 90 minutes.The MCAS is a very difficult test. Each year our kids are improving. I am completely stressed to the max about it every year!
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writing test
Old 03-26-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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They take the writing test in one day. They get two 45 min sessions, but give additional time for those who need it. This is 4th and it is grueling for the kids. On the up side they are good writers and actually enjoyed the prompt. The prompt is always a personal narrative. We had three kids work right up to dismissal.

Here in MA we have very tough tests...if you go to the mass doe website you can see the tests from previous years.
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MA website
Old 03-26-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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I was actually going to go there this upcoming summer (having just read the MA ranks the highest/hardest) and download some stuff and compare it to CO. I might just increase my own classroom standards! Heck, if MA kids can do it, so can CO students.

Curious!!!! WHAT do those kids who finish do while the others continue? Surely they don't have to sit there the entire day!!! On the other hand, if you allow them to leave the room, wouldn't that cause others to rush and finish, just to go somewhere else.

I am AMAZED at how different the various (United) state's testing procedures/tests are!!! (Ok, that sentence was horrible, but too tired to care).
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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Eliza,
Wow! The third grade test is really different. In fourth, they only write to one prompt. That's interesting.
I am amazed at the different tests different states have too. I always think CSAP is bad until I read about states like Texas and Florida, and now Massachusettes! Those are really rigorous, it seems!


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Old 03-26-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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Parts of CSAP stink, imo, but I agree, it doesn't sound nearly as bad as some other states. This is only our 3rd year for the 3rd grade math test and I keep wondering if they are going to make it tougher. Seriously, parts of it, 2nd graders could do with ease! But, I'm not going to complain! I'm sure something will change down the road when they figure out we've had enough 'easing into it'.
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