Thursday, January 10, 2013

Testing sometimes has an upside

So this week, we had a fire drill, two days of math and reading testing, and tomorrow we have a lockdown drill.  That's a lot for one week, and if I'm honest, I wasn't too keen on the full day of reading testing.  In Pennsylvania, we're using CDT's, which are taken online.  I know our kids play video games for more hours than I want to know about, but there's something about testing online that makes it....I don't know, harder in some way.  Is there a difference in the way they have to read since they're looking straight ahead instead of down?

   Anyway, I was leading the kids to the media center where they have 30 computers, but I wasn't doing cartwheels on the way, you know?  But a couple of things happened that were really cool.   The CDT's give the students general information in five different categories: comprehension, vocabulary, figurative language, persuasive techniques, and text organization.  No scores, just an "area that needs improvement" or "area which can be strengthened" - I'm paraphrasing here because I can't remember the exact words.  But the kids know.  Lowest results are in red, then green, highest are in blue.

   As the kids finished, we looked at their results together.  And a couple of boys, you know the ones - sixth grade boys that you know are smart, but are so busy trying to be cool that they forget how to work - that kind?  Well, I had conversations with a couple of them back in October or November.  You know, about how it was really, really okay to be cool AND smart?  You should have seen the look on their faces when they saw their results.  Yup, the effort they'd been putting in on their work had paid off on this test, and the pride on their faces was priceless.

   Boy, did that feel good!

Here's hoping you had a good week back!
Marion

4 comments:

  1. Hi Marion! One of my friends was recently reading a book about the way the brain processes information read on the computer. He was pretty alarmed, but I don't remember the title, (sad old brain here)even though I intended to read it too. I'll post another comment here if I can find the title. And I love your blog!
    Darlene

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    1. I'd love to know the name of it, if you can remember it or the author (and yes, I totally understand what old brain feels like!) It does make me wonder whether or not we're doing a service or disservice to kids by having them test online. I do a lot of things online, but I'd have to really think about which way I'd want to be evaluated. Somehow it feels more serious when it's on paper. If that makes any sense. I'd be curious to know what other people think - especially younger teachers.

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  2. Hello again Marion! I think you are great, and I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Stop by my blog for the info. I tried to use cut and paste it for an easy link to my blog, but I still don't know how to use it. Sorry!
    Darlene
    http://meatballsinthemiddle.blogspot.com/

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    1. I just responded to you, Darlene, and then promptly lost the message. But thank you so much for nominating me! That really means a lot. I'll stop by your blog for the info - no problem!

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