Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lions and Tigers and Tests. oh my!

I'm linking up with Ms. V's Busy Bees and Mrs D's Corner with their Back to School linky!



This weeks topic is assessment, which has become a very hotly debated topic in some areas.

I really feel like our kids are so over-tested, that they aren't learning.  Here are some assessments I did last year-

DIBELS- 3 times a year for benchmark testing but also every 10 or 20 days depending on how students did.

Weekly Common Formative assessments that we then had to analyze and grid as a grade level so we could 'monitor progress'.

A beginning of the year reading benchmark that someone had someone else make up.  Which we then had to give to all our Kindergartners one on one and took about 30 minutes to complete.  Why?  I still don't know.  I do know that after we were finished,  'they' decided that data wasn't 'relevant' and we probably shouldn't have done the test.

Grades!  We had to put grades in for Kindergartners this year.  Which means we had a graded assignment EVERY WEEK for EVERY SUBJECT!  Gah!

Plus, the state-mamdated benchmark testing in math.  Which had anywhere from 10-15 tasks each 9 weeks and was mostly done one-on-one.

All the above is just scratching the surface.  There were also observations, anecdotal records, and checklists.  And projects.

I think projects are awesome.  Here are some pictures of a project we did this year.


 

The only problem I have had with projects is that sometimes I'm grading the parents work.  This was a project students did at home.  We were studying different materials.  We read The Three Little Pigs and the assignment was to build a house.  Students then had to answer some questions about what materials they used and whether or not they would make good building materials in real life.  Some of them were clearly done by the students and they could answer all the questions.  Others were clearly done by the parents and the students had no clue what I was talking about when I asked about aspects of their house.  

I really think, though, that we crossed the assessment line 2 years ago when my students started playing 'testing' during recess...  




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