Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thinking about Testing...

Happy Sunday! And welcome to Spring! I do love the time change, although I hate losing that hour of sleep. But I'll take it if it means longer days and warmer weather!!

So, here's where my mind has been today.  We have state testing coming up in a month, and I'm actually worried about how my students are going to perform.  If their reading benchmarks are any indication of their state test scores...well, all I can say is Thank God I don't get reviewed based on them! Otherwise, I'd be looking for a new job!  So, this has me thinking...does testing make kids learn better? Are we really truly teaching them if all we do is test them?  I don't know how it is at your school or in your district, but at my school, in third grade, we give end of story tests  once a week (comprehension; literary analysis; vocabulary; oral language).  Then, at the end of 4 stories, we give a Theme test, which incorporates comprehension with vocabulary and grammar skills.  PLUS, each trimester there is a district reading benchmark test, which tests end of year state standards!!!  Now tell me, does it make sense to test kids so much??  Can't we, shouldn't we, be grading them on the standards but using something other than tests to get those grades??  For example, couldn't I use the "think critically" questions for a comprehension grade?  Or give a vocabulary activity and grade it for word fluency, rather than a vocab test??  does every grade have to come from a stinkin' test???!!!

Someone, PLEASE respond and let me know how you get your grades in your school.  I'm reflecting on my teaching here, looking for an alternative.

Thank you, awesome teacher bloggy world!

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