How to balancestandardized tests withteaching creatively…In-service Workshop for EPR 688Ms. Gail Harper YeildingMs. Rachel Rives
A-Z Brainstorm (teach testing vocabulary) Complete on your handout. Assessment Benchmark Check your answers Dialogue Efficiency … Zilch to fear
4 Guiding Questions… (Turn and Talk) 1) How are we as educators supposed to respond effectively and creatively to the pressures of standardized testing? 2) Is there a standardized test that can be all together fair? 3) What would performance and portfolio assessments replacing standardized tests look like? 4.) How can teachers motivate students to do their best work when testing?
Preparing your students for testing After School Tutoring 1-1 instruction that targets specific skills Study groups Test taking tips Build up their confidence Discuss the make up and reason for the test and it’s importance Build up to the test, incentives or parties Preparation for day of: effective plan, healthy breakfast, plenty of sleep, short exercise or stretching
Test Taking Tips For Students The video below has a good amount of test taking tips that will help improve the scores of your students. They will also be more excited to hear the information from people their own age. Teacher Tube- Testing Tips
Time Issues?• How do teachers fit in the time to accomplish all thematerial that needs to be covered throughout theyear along with making sure they have covered alltesting material?
Dealing with Time Teachers can create more innovative lessons to incorporate more elements of their curriculum Use more differentiated lessons where students are practicing multiple skills Use more outside resources Collaborate with your colleagues Practice testing skills while working with other materials that need to be covered throughout the year
Teaching to the test?!? Often the pressures of testing cause some teachers to “water down” the curriculum in a belief that they are helping the students as well as protecting their careers. This is absolutely not needed if we are doing our jobs! FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “In a sense exceptional teachers teach to the test without even realizing it. Excellent teachers satisfy the requirements of state assessments without spoon-feeding the content.” Longo, C. (2010). Fostering Creativity or Teaching to the Test? Implications of State Testing on the Delivery of Science Instruction. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 83(2), 54-57. Retrieved from EBSCOhost .
Fair Testing for all?-culturally appropriate-respectful of all circumstances and abilities-gives students the opportunity to show what they know-clear directions and expectationsConsider the following articles: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-01-07-no-child_x.htm http://www.fairtest.org/arn/caseagainst.html
What accommodations do you use for students during testing? Small room vs. large room Read-to groups or 1-1 Re-test opportunities Report test irregularities No time constraint Translations for English Learners
More Accommodations… Provide special acoustics Allow frequent breaks during testing Administer the test in several sessions, specifying the duration of each day’s session Increase size of answer spaces Provide on-task/ focusing prompts Highlight key words or phrases in directions and provide cues
Limiting Test Anxiety Acknowledge that it exists and ask students to describe it Speak positively about the test Teach test taking skills and help students apply these skills Take practice tests
More On Limiting Test Anxiety… Reward effort and gains in testing Allow for time to stretch/moment of silence/ self- talk before starting the test Make sure all students have adequate resources (pencils, scratch paper, calculators when appropriate, etc.) Follow up with data-driven instruction
Performance Assessments Performance assessments are alternatives to standardized testing with a specific outcome from the student. ETS defines these as, “A test in which the test taker actually demonstrates the skills the test is intended to measure by doing real-world tasks that require those skills, rather than by answering questions asking how to do them. Typically, those tasks involve actions other than marking a space on an answer sheet or clicking a button on a computer screen. A pencil-and- paper test can be a performance assessment, but only if the skills to be measured can be done, in a real-world context, with a pencil and paper. Resource for implementation: http://performanceassessment.org
Portfolio Assessments A portfolio assessment allows the students to display and present their learning as an assessment. Defined by ETS as, “A systematic collection of materials selected to demonstrate a persons level of knowledge, skill or ability in a particular area. Portfolios can include written documents (written by the person being evaluated or by others), photos, drawings, audio or video recordings and other media. Often the types of documents and other media to be provided are specified in detail.” Here’s an idea of what they look like: Watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sihIwdjGY0o
Additional Resources… AHSGE and SAT prep: Full exams, practice game, and video tutorials for specific skills http://usatestprep.com University of Kansas’ Strategies Lab: PIRATES and many other ways to build esteem for testing http://www.kucrl.org/sim/strategies.shtml Study Skills, test taking and many other tips for students and parents : http://www.testtakingtips.com Ways to limit test anxiety: http://kidshealth.org/teen/school_jobs/school/testing _tips.html Any others?